Undergraduate Research Program

Shuvam Chaudhuri

Molecular, cellular and developmental biology      Minor: Entrepreneurship
Mentor: Zhinan Jin, Biochemistry

Contact: shuvamc@uw.edu

Current research project: Activation Pathway of a Nucleoside Analog Inhibiting RSV Polymerase



Translate your work so that we can all understand its importance
My research involved characterizing the phosphorylation pathways of certain nucleosides and their analogues to see if they can be used as prodrugs in the human body. In simpler terms, I was trying to find out what enzymes are involved in catalyzing what reactions for certain drugs and certain compounds. Additionally, I was looking at what rates these drugs were metabolized to see how effectively they would be utilized in the human body.

What is the most challenging and/or sometimes frustrating aspect of your undergraduate research experience? What did you learn from it?

One of the most frustrating things about research for me is the high rate of failure you experience when conducting research. When you are developing an assay the experiments are very time consuming and often the results can be absolutely inconclusive. What it has taught me is to be comfortable with failure. I now can pursue different adventures and projects and not be afraid of failure which has opened me up to a lot of opportunities I may not have seized before.

What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?
Do not give up. It may seem tough to get a position at first; if you are persistent and sincere in what you say however, it will work out. What results can be one of the most eye-opening and rewarding experiences of your life.