During the spring of 2018, David Lasansky applied to the Undergraduate Biological Research Program (UBRP) and was selected to join the program for the summer while continuing his research under the direction of Dr. Indraneel Ghosh. Unfortunately, David ended up breaking his arm while roller-skating at an end of the semester meeting for U of A College of Science ambassadors which completely stopped his ability to do research for over 10 weeks.
Upon learning of this, the directors of UBRP began to work with David during this recovery period, and he is extremely thankful for all the support and accommodation he received from the program this summer. David was still able to attend weekly meetings with other aspiring undergraduate researchers and seminars led by professionals in various biological fields - both of which helped to further his passion for research.
About halfway through the summer, an email was sent out to applicable students which encouraged them to apply for the Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities (WAESO) grant. WAESO is a comprehensive, concerted, sequenced effort that uses NSF funding for historically underrepresented minority (URM) undergraduate student activities, including the transition of college sophomores, juniors, and seniors toward graduate school.
David applied for the WAESO grant and was notified in the fall of 2018 that he was accepted to receive the stipend for the upcoming school year. He wants to thank Jennifer Cubeta and Maria Lester from UBRP for helping him in a multitude of ways over the summer and informing him about the WAESO grant. David is now almost completely recovered from his broken arm and has resumed his regular research as a member of UBRP for the 2018-2019 school year.
David is planning on graduating in the spring of 2019 with a double major in Biochemistry and Mathematics. He hopes to then go on to graduate school and enter a program which involves the use of mathematical modeling applied to biological contexts such as computational biology.