I want to be the next Professor X.
December 14, 2012 6:54 PM Subscribe
I know I want to study genetics but I don't know where to go from there. What kind of things in genetics did Professor X and the Drs. Suresh on Heroes
study? I want to study that.
posted by acthelight to science & nature (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Okay, well maybe I don't really want to study exactly that. They are fictional characters, after all. The only reason I mention them is because reading X-Men is one of the things that first got me interested in studying genetics. By "studying" I mean "get a PhD in".
I'm currently an undergraduate biology major with a concentration in genetics/subcellular biology, so I'm aware that thinking about getting a PhD may be thinking a bit too far in the future. I'm also definitely interested in going to medical school. In fact, I plan on applying for a Medical Scientist Training Program so I can get my medical degree and PhD in genetics at the same time.
Infectious disease genetics has a definite allure for me, but I'm not particularly interested in the major diseases being studied currently (HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis). Neuroscience/neurobiology also seems interesting, but I'm not really interested in studying the genetics of alcohol abuse or mental disorder. I'm not particularly interested in studying cancer, though there are some aspects of cancer research that I find interesting, specifically the cell proliferation and problems with gene expression regulation aspects. One mention of the word "telomerase" and my heart rate starts speeding up.
I'm about to start participating in a lab that centers around the genetic basis of plant diseases (specifically corn smut) but I'm really more interested in human genetics and I'm in the lab because I like the professor leading it, it'll introduce me to some of the technological things that go on with genetics research, and because the other professors with genetics labs didn't have any space left when I applied.
Basically, I have vague ideas about the areas of genetics I want to study, but nothing specific. I feel like I should be narrowing my scope so I know what sort of research positions to apply for and classes to take in the future.
So... what should I study?