Investigating the Microbiome – Dr. Lawrence David

Over the course of the program there have been many great talks that have given me a glimpse into various topics of research. Speakers have also shared their own personal journey and wisdom so that it might help younger scientists, like myself, to possible get a better understanding of what they might want to do. The talk that stood out the most to me in both topic and experience was that last one given. Dr. Lawrence David recently gave a guest lecture to us about his work with nutrition and his own journey to become the scientist he is today.

One of the things that stood out most to me about this talk is Dr. David’s admittance that many times along his journey he wasn’t sure what the “right” path was or what he wanted to do. Instead, he emphasized a message sticking with something and keeping an open mind to new ideas. When he had to decide whether to go to graduate school and continue to pursue research, he chose the continue on that path because it “wouldn’t hurt.” The idea of undertaking a path because it leaves the most options open is actually something that really resonated with me. Most of the time, we don’t know if we have made the right decision until after situation has been played out. Personally, I am not completely sure what exactly I want to study or what exactly I want to specifically pursue in the future. To receive this type of advice and hear about this type of experience allows me to better be prepared as I move forward and explore my interests. Dr. David sharing his real experience and advice was really helpful to me as I am still figuring out what exactly I want to study in the future and pursue. The concepts of keeping an open mind and sticking with something even if you don’t like it at first are two important concepts he constantly talked about that will definitely be on my mind as I move further into my academic career.

Furthermore, his study on the human microbiome was also very interesting. His work seemed very applicable to real life as people are constantly trying to be aware of what they eat. Dr. David’s work on better understanding how to optimize certain diets and nutritional supplements leads to more research on how humans can better take care of themselves and improve their health. I found his work particularly interesting because of how applicable and just commonly “found” it is. People make these decisions on their diet everyday, and research like his allows people to better improve their everyday life.

Dr. Lawrence David’s guest lecture was extremely helpful in his practical advice he gave about approaching science. Because he was only a few year removed from his schooling, his advice was prevalent and resonated with me. The sharing of his own experience and research definitely encouraged me to continue on the path of research.

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