Brian Gottwalt ('16, Biology and Marine Biology)

Brian Gottwalt What do you do for your undergraduate research?

I am currently working in the Kinsey Laboratory looking at the effect of caffeine on skeletal muscle growth, development, and metabolism.I culture C2C12 myocytes, which is a strain of skeletal muscle cell found in mice. Conjectures regarding the true physiological implications of caffeine vary immensely. My research aims to provide more conclusive evidence about the role(s) caffeine plays in cell processes such as mitophagy and protein synthesis to gain a better perspective on how it may alter overall muscle development

What made you want to pursue an undergraduate research project?

I personally enjoy learning from my professors in a lecture setting, however getting involved in hands on research makes the information you learn become much more real. After discovering the wide array of research options offered by UNCW, I knew that it would be foolish not to take advantage of such an incredible undergraduate opportunity.

How did you start your research project?

I investigated the research specialties of professors in the biology department and after speaking with Dr. Kinsey about his work, I began working in his lab the following semester.

Was doing your own research fun? Be Honest.

Full disclosure, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Long hours in a laboratory setting may intimidate some people but the wealth of knowledge and skills I have gleaned from my research is simply priceless. I would not trade the time I spent in the lab for anything.

It isn't required to do research as an undergrad, so what advantages do you think this experience has provided you?

Undergraduate research provides the privilege to learn useful-and often fundamental-laboratory skills and techniques. Altogether it was an enriching experience that will undoubtedly aid in my preparations for the rigors of graduate school.

What recognition and/or grants did you receive for your research?

I was awarded a UNCW Undergraduate Fellowship for 2015-16, The Skiba Undergraduate Research and Creativity Fellowship.

What are your plans after you receive your degree from UNCW?

After receiving my Bachelors of Science in Biology at UNCW, I plan to attend medical school to become a medical doctor. Ultimately, my goal is to become a sports medicine physician and continue my passion for helping others in an athletics setting.

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