Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve had the opportunity to listen to a variety of scientists speak to us about the amazing research they have been working on in their labs and how they got to where they are today. Hearing about the different paths these faculty took to end up in the same research institution made me realize that everyone has his or her own way to approach opportunities and explore interests. In addition, learning more about all the kinds of research these faculty have been involved in highlighted the endless possibilities of science and how so much is still unknown about life in and around us.
Out of all of the faculty talks, Dr. Lawrence David’s talk about nutrition really resonated with me because it made me realize that is that science really is everywhere around us: in the movies we watch, the foods we eat, and the places we visit. He mentioned that watching Jurassic Park was what initially interested him in scientific research. Who would have guessed that a night out to the movie theater would result in finding a new interest and passion that you pursue as a career?
Dr. David’s lab focuses on nutrition and how the different foods people eat affects their bodies at the microbiome level. While not everyone consciously monitors their diet every day, nutrition is a concept that is relevant to everyone. Research like this that has such a direct and immediate connection to our everyday lives really makes clear the importance of science and how it can appear anywhere. One really memorable part of Dr. David’s talk is when he mentioned the time he visited Thailand. Although the trip was not originally for work purposes, he tracked the street food that he ate and monitored how this new kind of cuisine affected his body. He brought his research and scientific curiosity with him and created a new learning opportunity for himself. As I continue to explore the different aspects of scientific research, I hope to embrace the unknowns of the scientific world and am excited to see where else science may unexpectedly present itself in my daily life.