Towards One Full Circle: Conducting Research at Rutgers

“I want to do research, but I don’t know how I can get involved” is a thought that crosses the minds of many students as they transition into their first semester of college. Similarly, I was thinking the same thing as I stepped foot onto Rutgers for the first time as a freshman last year. I was feeling ambitious and eager to learn and accomplish as much as I could. Research was not the only way that I planned to apply myself outside of the classroom, but it sure was what I was looking forward to the most.

The first few weeks of college were rough and took some time to get adjusted to everything. Fortunately, the School of Engineering, specifically the Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department, had many opportunities available that made transitioning to college seamless while also helping me land a research role the first semester of college. All it took was simply doing research (pun intended) into the different disciplines and projects each of our BME labs and faculty were working on and then reaching out to the professor I was interested in working under. From there, I was able to set up a meeting with professors, receive lab safety training, and started working in the lab at the end of my first semester.

Ever since joining the team in December, I have not only learned a lot about my major, but also had the opportunity to grow professionally by developing my technical skillset and knowledge. Additionally, I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with a fantastic lab group and even an amazing mentor as well. I am lucky to have a friendly relationship with all of them and am fortunate to have an awesome support system.

Even during remote learning, I am still able to conduct research despite being in a virtual environment. I continue to work on my current lab project from home. It mostly consists of running analysis on literature studies, drafting papers to be used for final publications, and running computational simulations via computer software programs. In a time of unprecedented events, Rutgers was able to adapt and continued to operate smoothly, which is something that I admire about Rutgers. Scarlet Knights are resilient and always get the job done, no matter what challenges they face.

I have reached one full circle as I celebrate one year of conducting research at Rutgers. When I first got started with research ages ago in December 2019, B.C. (before coronavirus), I never expected to go through all that I did in 2020. Nevertheless, Rutgers research has done a fantastic job in leading the way for a smooth, efficient response to the pandemic, ensuring that all researchers could still safely work on their projects and simulate an in-person experience as best as they can. With that said, I gladly look forward to continuing on my research project as I begin round two of my “full circle” journey.

- Suhayb BME’23