Cody Postich (Biology)

Cody Postich PictureWhat do you do for your undergraduate research?

In the first year of research, I learned the basic concepts of lab safety, experimental procedures, personal responsibility, documentation of experiments and the enjoyment of research itself through poster presentations. I traveled to conferences to present the research I performed, and I developed great communication skills through verbal presentations. From the initial BIO 292 course, I wanted to become more involved in microbial research, and Dr. Kiser encouraged me to take BIO 491: DIS (Directed Independent Study). Of course I could not resist the opportunity, and I gained even more knowledge on the bacteria isolates I studied. My honors project involves performing bioassay data to find the inhibitory characteristics of genetically identified soil bacteria against pathogenic bacteria. Another key feature of my honors project will be the discovery of a (hopefully) novel antibiotic.

What made you want to pursue an undergraduate research project?

At the end of my freshman year, I knew I was going to be deeply infatuated with biology, but I never predicted I would be deeply involved in microbial research. I was taking BIO 202 with Dr. Long, and one day in class he talked about a new course being developed on campus called BIO 292: Antibiotic Discovery. I was intrigued, and I had to apply to be given permission to take the course. I visualized my applied learning experience as a series of invaluable opportunities to build extraordinary relationships with mentors, gain knowledge on the hot topics of research. The most important aspect I hoped to gain from my learning experience was finding out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I hoped to find my niche in research.

How did you start your research project?

My applied learning experience began in the beginning of sophomore year, when I registered for BIO 292: Antibiotic Discovery with Dr. Kevin Kiser. This course involved research development to find novel antibiotics in soil bacteria. This course was my initial foot in the door to the big wide world of research on a microbial scale.

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

Experience in the microbiology lab for three years will definitely make me a more viable candidate when I am applying for a graduate study or finding a job. I actually obtained a job through my research experiences at the Marbionc biotechnology lab as an undergrad. Every year I perform research, my resume becomes increasingly stronger. If I am able to get my honors thesis published, I will be extremely elated and proud of newfound knowledge I presented to the scientific community. I gained more than I ever imagined from this experience. Besides learning experimental information, writing research proposals, relationships with amazing professors, networking with other professors on campus, I learned about personal responsibility in the lab where I was given 24-hour access to perform my research. The effort I put into my research contributed to the knowledge I gained from spending hours performing different experiments independently.

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

I won the Paul E. Hosier Undergraduate Fellowship through CSURF. I am thankful for the opportunities I was given in the research community at UNCW, and I thank CSURF and Applied Learning for allowing me to perform research through funding and presentations.

Click here to view more Research Stories!