Undergraduate Research Program

Alex Huynh

Alex SmilingMajor: Computer Science, Bioengineering, ACMS
Mentor: Dr. Paul Yager, Professor in Department of Bioengineering

Contact: urp@uw.edu

Current research project: The Removal of Excess Tryptophan in the Small Intestine via Orally Ingested Hydrogel Microspheres

 

Alex is a sophomore in Engineering at the University of Washington. Pursuing a major in bioengineering, he is interested in applying engineering principles to solve problems in medicine and research. He has developed a pipette guide that will assist lab techs in performing work that would otherwise be incredibly difficult for those with unsteady hands or low-acuity vision. In his off time Alex enjoys combat sports and cooking in equal measure.

 

Translate your work so that we can all understand its importance
Electrophoresis is an essential lab procedure, commonly used for genotyping and distinguishing sources of DNA. The most difficult step in the procedure requires pipetting fluid into small wells in a thin gel assay. Those with unsteady hands or low acuity vision could easily puncture the gel or miss the wells entirely, making this procedure tedious and time-consuming for all but the most steady-handed. This guide directs pipettes to the correct location and depth every time, making performing electrophoresis much more fast and accessible for hard of sight researchers.

 

When, how, and why did you get involved in undergraduate research?
I searched for a lab position on the URP database where I could apply my skills and I was interested in the research they were doing. I found this position early in my freshman fall quarter, and I’ve loved it here.

 

What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?
Be open minded about the positions you apply to, keeping in mind that there will be opportunities to gain more responsibilities once you get in.