December 9th, 2021

By: Chengliang Liu

In high school I was known to be a student who really enjoyed STEM classes. As the acting president of the Math Club of my high school, I developed a deep interest in applying mathematical modeling to predict ways in which the world would evolve. I feel grateful that math has opened a new door for me to explore and enjoy the beauty of other sciences. I discovered chemistry and biology were where my true passion lay. Science has always attracted me because it is a method of problem-solving, though every subject of science has helped me to understand the world we live in better, and ultimately I choose this path for my degree.

Having this opportunity to work in the lab over this past summer has strengthened my passion for science. Experimenting with just a single plasmid that was coded for a specific targeted protein, until the pure protein is ready to be tested, is really an incredible experience. During class lectures, professors tried to teach the technical theories of science, but because of time limitations, the lecture is usually broken into fragments. In the grand scheme of things, students are not able to fully understand the reasoning behind the techniques. In lectures we always anticipate successful experiment results, however, this is not the case at all. In a research lab, more often than not this will take multiple trials until desired data can be collected. We discuss the problem we face and try to improve on the protocol, and bit by bit we figure out the issue and eventually solve it. This is what I viewed as the most rewarding part about science, and this is what motivated me to come to the lab every day. 

Chengliang Liu –  Rising Junior pursuing his BS in Biomolecular Science at NYU Tandon.

When I first had the opportunity to join Professor Montclare’s lab, I was a little uncertain if I was going to be able to keep up and whether if I knew enough to to be a contributing member.  Over time my mentor, Dustin, has helped me along every step of the way, being patient with me explaining every step of the process with me which made me really enjoy the time I spent in the lab. What I take away from the lab is not only the knowledge, but also the relationships I have established with everyone in the lab .

Before I got the opportunity to work in this research lab, I felt uncertain about what I want to do in the future. I didn’t know whether I should take the path into the field of medicine, as many of my classmates or to choose a completely different field of work. However, I think I have found the path. I really enjoy being inside a research lab where I am able to translate an idea into a physical product. I am really thankful for this experience, and this made me feel certain that I would like to further pursue the field of protein engineering for my graduate study.