21. The Value of Undergraduate Research

I found myself more motivated to do course work while doing research, because I finally saw the application of what I’ve been learning. At the same time, being constantly around principal investigators, post-docs, and graduate students can be very humbling—it makes you realize how truly little you know about things.

—Erika Ilagan, undergraduate biochemistry major at University of Rochester; her research project: “Biochemical Properties of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (African Green Monkey) Reverse Transcriptase Variants”

In 2007, a food science professor at Clemson University made national headlines for debunking a belief that mothers of toddlers and millions of other Americans have held for years: If ...

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