Rachel Davey ('17, Chemistry)

Rachel DaveyWhat do you do for your undergraduate research?

Throughout this past fall I investigated the metabolite profiles of eight actinomycete strains using UPLC-QtofMS metabolomics. The eight organisms were cultured and through spectral processing techniques and statistical mining tools the secondary metabolomics were investigated. Bioactivity and cytotoxic assays were also conducted to determine if the strains contain antimicrobial or anti-cancer components. One of my organisms was found to produce a family of four novel compounds, which are what I am currently working with to eventually determine their structures and any bioactivity they may possess.

What made you want to pursue an undergraduate research project?

I have always loved the idea of research and the possibility of discovering new things. Therefore, ever since I became a chemistry major my freshman year I have wanted to complete a project and help potentially discover something that will contribute to the scientific community.

How did you start your research project?

I started interning in Dr. Wright’s lab my sophomore year and learned about many techniques in which chemistry research is conducted. Then, the summer following my junior year Dr. Wright gave me the opportunity to be a part of the research by working full time in the lab. Following this, I started my senior research project determining the metabolite profiles of actinomycetes.

Was doing your own research fun? Be Honest.

YES! I have had the most amazing research experience and absolutely love every minute I get to spend in the lab. At times it can be frustrating or tedious, but I have learned much more than I could have ever imagined and am so grateful for this opportunity.

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

This opportunity has allowed me to experience many integral parts of the research process and has opened up so many doors for me for after graduation.

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

CSURF Supplies Scholarship Grant

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

I plan to continue my education and work towards my a Master’s of Science degree in Chemistry.

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