Each year the Office of Research chooses a few of our many exemplary Presidential Doctoral Research Fellows to be Spotlight Students. We interview these students to learn more about their experiences as researchers and as graduate students at USU.
Tatiana Soboleva is an Organic Chemistry student in the College of Science. Tatiana works with Dr. Lisa Berreau in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department.
Q: Who are you and where are you from?
A: Tatiana Soboleva, from Republic of Moldova.
Q: What are your interests outside of school and your research?
A: Drawing, sculpture, crocheting, and linguistics
Q: What is one fun fact about you?
A: Fluent in 5 languages
Your Studies and Research
Q: What are you studying?
A: Organic Chemistry
Q: What is the focus of your research?
A: Highly-controllable carbon monoxide (CO) delivery using flavonols for therapeutic applications
Q: What is your favorite part of your research?
A: Being the first person to observe new science happening real time 🙂
Q: When did you know what you wanted to study?
A: During organic lab syntheses in undergraduate institution
Q: What led you to Utah State?
A: Passion for medicinally applicable research and the lab that does this kind of work.
A Typical Day
Q: Describe a typical day in the lab/field.
A: Every day is different (surprisingly, a lot of people think it is monotonous and boring). Some days I design experiments, while others, I set up and work up syntheses and often spend time growing and working with human cells. In essence, there are no typical days in lab as they often go by unexpected twists of the plans due to the findings of that very day.
Q: What skills or expertise do you have/are you growing through your research?
A: Besides receiving technical training at the lab, I have definitely developed critical thinking, multitasking and time management while working in the research field I am in. Joining Dr. Berreau’s lab, I have learned organic synthesis as well as started working with cell cultures. At the same time, due to the numerous presentation and publications, I have developed my speech and writing skills that are very important in promoting the science that is happening in the lab.
Q: What is your favorite thing about Logan/Utah State?
A: I love the safety of this town! You can come back walking from lab at 2 am and feel safe. It is a very nice place to live in!
Q: What has been a valuable USU resource for you and your research?
A: I would say–the people. There a lots of great people here at USU. Collaboration is a big and strong resource for the research we are leading. It is not sufficient for us to look at the synthetic aspect of the work, we need application in living systems in order to understand the impact of the delivered CO on human cells.
Q: Who is your mentor?
A: Lisa M. Berreau
Q: How did they become your mentor?
A: I was summer intern in her lab and I loved the work we do in Dr. Berreau’s lab.
Q: What do you like about the collaboration process?
A: Great design of experiments, additional peer review, optimization of methods, and thinking outside the box.
Q: What is one valuable thing that research has taught you?
A: Patience, patience, and once more patience. It is challenging for me to wait for a reaction to be complete, a layer of cell to be grown; I want to know immediately the results but as scientists we should be patient and methodical in order to obtain reproducible and conclusive results.
Do you have any advice for new research students here at Utah State?
For the new research students, I would recommend to try to maintain a balance between academic and personal life. It is very important to work hard but it is equally important to have occupation outside the lab to seek the inspiration for the laborious work in labs.