I have enjoyed the seminar component of this program since it has allowed me to meet many of the faculty here at Duke. These seminars have enlightened me of what makes Duke research so unique and how important it is to get involved in research at this university. I found it interesting to learn about the life pathways of these scientists and a common theme I have seen is that you never know where you might end up in life.
One of my favorite seminars was from Dr. Brian Coggins, Assistant Research Professor of Biochemistry. I was excited to learn about his research since the beginning of this fellowship because his research revolved around Biochemistry which is the area I plan to study while my time here at Duke. His work focused on NMR technology and furthering the potential of this technology. NMR is a topic that was covered in my Organic chemistry I class. I found it difficult to learn but once I started practicing NMR problems it became easier to understand. However, the class didn’t go into detail about why NMR is important and what implication it has in the real world. Learning about Dr. Coggins research gave me a greater insight in that field and allowed me to connect what I learned in class and apply it to ongoing research. Dr. Coggins research around NMR goes well beyond my scope of knowledge of the topic but I am interested to learn more about it once I start taking higher level chemistry courses.
A comment from Dr. Coggins that stuck with me was that he is never satisfied. It’s his curiosity that drives him forward and allows him to want to learn more. It is difficult to choose just one discipline and stick with it for the rest of your life. Dr. Coggins mention how he wishes to have more time to learn about other research since there are so many things fascinating out there. It is interesting to know that even Dr. Coggins, with his years of experience, still doesn’t know what will come next in his career, but his curiosity will certainly lead him in the right direction.