Biochemistry Major Spends Summer Researching DNA Mutations

Brad Callas, senior biochemistry major, is looking to help provide understanding to the world about Charcot Marie Tooth Disease (CMT) through her research project in the Seaver College Summer Opportunities for Advanced Research (SOAR).

“The goal of our research is to study how the DNA mutations found in human CMT patients affect cellular function and the mechanism by which it happens,” said Callas.

Callas had started some work in this field in the previous year, but was able to really delve into more difficult areas and dedicate more time to finding solutions.

“I am enjoying the lab work more than I had previously thought as I am able to understand the project more clearly and I enjoy looking into other potential areas of research for our project,” said Callas.

Callas has been paired with faculty mentor, Sarah Mitchell, professor of biochemistry, for the program to provide hands-on research that deepens the student’s academic experience and analytical skills.

“The SOAR program has allowed me to grow my relationship with my mentor,” said Callas. “Although I have known my mentor for about a year, performing daily research has definitely improved our professional relationship, as the SOAR program has given me the opportunity to field her advice on potential careers or answering any questions I have about the world of biochemistry.”

Callas is nearing the end of the SOAR program and found that the program has really allowed for him to grow personally and as a researcher.

“My biggest takeaway from being in the SOAR has been the confidence that I have gained not only in my lab technique, but also in my knowledge of biochemistry,” said Callas. “This gain in confidence as well as knowledge is helping me to find my way to my future career in the field of biochemistry.”