Dr Tatiana Segura was raised in Colombia and came to the United States to finish high school and obtain her college education. She always liked science, reading and analyzing text, and wanted to do lab work. It was interesting to me that she reads a lot from text but “always imagines the experiment.” Whenever I read a paper, I just want to know the facts and results, but it’s almost as if Dr. Segura is there with the research team performing with them. Since America is the land of opportunities, Dr. Segura was able to do her undergrad at UC Berkeley in Bioengineering and went to Northwestern for grad school in Chemical Engineering so that she could do experiments of her own.
When I asked Dr Segura how she knew what research to dive into, she responded “some research comes out of luck and curiosity,” claiming that once you know the nuances of a problem, you get excited by it, and if she ended up in another lab at the start of her career, she would’ve found something she loved. I think this applies to BSURF or any REU student matched to a lab (or people in a lab in general). Though many of us make it by chance, or by someone else recognizing us, we fall in love with our research question, bench mentors, other undergraduates as we get rooted into the lab. If you don’t love your work, why do it?
Dr Segura loves teaching students, both in lab and in class. Her students can utilize what is taught right away, and she can help them in a meaningful way. Besides teaching, she loves learning about research and getting excited by new concepts/approaches to problems that her colleagues take on. Her advice to brewing scientists? Get involved! If you don’t have time to do research, read, listen, ask questions and talk to people. Build your network and get connected. However, nothing falls in line without the will to learn things. I hope we all form new wrinkles in our brains by the end of BSURF, even if that’s a myth!