Meet Undergraduate Intern, Jillian Ness
As a senior majoring in Biochemistry, it was an honor to receive the Biology Internship Scholarship for the summer of 2017. During my 10-week internship, I am working in the William Cramer laboratory in Hockmeyer Hall of Structural Biology. Overall, the lab focuses on elucidating the structure and function of the cytochrome b6f complex—an integral membrane protein that mediates electron flow between photosystem II and photosystem I in order to establish a proton gradient to be used for the synthesis of ATP in photosynthetic plants, bacteria and algae. With regard to my internship, I have been availed the unique opportunity to work on my own research project studying a potential rate-limiting step in the transfer of electrons from a protein carrier to its oxidation site at the b6f complex.
By spending my summer in a research laboratory, I have gained a greater understanding of what it takes to be a full-time researcher in an academic setting. I have the privilege to work daily with experienced scientific investigators who aid me in the problem-solving process and teach me to “think like a scientist.” I look forward to applying the diagnostic skills and scientific methodologies that I am gaining from this experience to a future graduate program. I would strongly encourage fellow students to engage in Purdue’s research community—for both the academic and career opportunities it affords as well as the new ways it opens your eyes to the complexity of the natural world.