My name is Jake and I am proud to be a basement scientist. It’s a different world when it comes to doing experiments in your basement. Resources and funds aren’t necessarily at your fingertips, so creativity and thinking outside of the box is essential for making your ideas a reality.

Pushing the envelope of scientific research isn’t dependent on where you went to school or what labs you have worked in; it’s solely based on your dedication and want to push your understanding and research ideas to the limit. We are doing research in a basement mainly because we don’t have the funds or resources to do it in our own lab. So what do we do? We make our own lab, our own chemicals and make and repair our own lab equipment so that we can get stuff done! We are not limited by the lack of resources around us, we are limited only by our ability to turn what is around us into the resources necessary for scientific experimentation.

A little about my background…

I am currently in my last semester at Salem State University as a chemistry major with a concentration in biochemistry and a minor in physics. Science is truly a passion of mine and I look forward to getting up every single day to practice and learn more about the field that I love.

I guess for me, my initial interests in science dates back to high school. Hitting the books was not a priority for me back then; I invested much more time into sports and my social life. But I had a life changing experience that would have the most influential impact on how the rest of my life would proceed. I took an organic biochemistry class taught by an amazing teacher and it opened my eyes to a completely new world. Once I got a taste of the biological and chemical world we actually live in, I was hooked.  My role models started changing from MVPs to Nobel laureates.

That class didn’t only teach me how important the concepts of biology and chemistry are to the world, it taught me how influential a great teacher can be. This motivates me that much more to help others and provide people with procedures, protocols, research ideas, advice and evidence from myself and Dakota, that with a little imagination and a lot of passion, little can hold you back from where you want to be.

From that point on, I hit the ground running. I entered Salem State University (College at the time) and knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to study chemistry, biology and physics and learn how to apply their fundamentals towards bettering the world that we live in ( and not owe 500K when I got out) .

At the end of my sophomore year I was fortunate enough to receive an internship position at Cell Signaling Technology in Danvers, MA. There, I was in a lab everyday doing peptide and RNA synthesis along with learning about antibodies, there development and applications. I was there whenever I had any free time, before school, after school and all day during the summer. I was able to develop my scientific knowledge and lab skills far beyond what I was able to do at Salem State. CST is where I learned how to think independently and learn how to organize and carry out my own experiments with efficiency.

After being at CST for a year and a half, I began interning at New England Biolabs in Ipswich, MA (where I am currently). At NEB I focus mainly on DNA synthesis, but have been able to learn some pretty cool molecular biology techniques and applications as well.  I learn something new every day and am very grateful for the oppertunity to be working with such a great company.

Working for both CST and NEB was a life changing experience. I cannot preach enough about how essential an internship is for an undergraduate. There are just some things that a school cannot teach you.

From here, I would like to continue my journey into a PhD program to further expand my understanding of the sciences and to move forward with pushing the envelope of scientific research. I am confident that my efforts will contribute to the growth and development of the world, whether directly by myself or by someone that I have influenced.