“When you’re in a class, you just see all this information put on a board,” says undergraduate researcher Justin Bell ’18. “Your job is to be a sponge and soak it all up. But research gave me a deeper appreciation for how much work and time and energy went into each of those discoveries.”
Bell, a biology major in the University Scholars Program, is the recipient of this year’s Chhabra-URECA Fellowship, an honor administered through Undergraduate Research and Creative Acctivities (URECA) at Stony Brook.
The award, which annually recognizes an undergraduate researcher who has a passion and talent for science, provided support this past summer for Justin’s ongoing research with Dr. Michael Airola (Biochemistry & Cell Biology) on The Structure and Function of Lipins: The Triglyceride Synthesis pathway.
Justin plans to complete an honors thesis on his work. Prior to beginning research, Justin recalls being uncertain about getting involved in research: “I thought I wasn’t going to like research. I thought it was something to check off on my premed checklist but then I ended up doing it. I found I really like this. I actually want to go to lab. It wasn’t just something I was just doing for my resume anymore.”
At Stony Brook, Justin has also been involved as a teaching assistant for General Chemistry and for Undergraduate Biology; is a member of the SB Academic Judiciary Committee; has participated in the SBU Undergraduate Clinical Experience Program, and has done Physician Shadowing via SB Medical Management.
He is also an EMT-B at the Port Jefferson Volunteer Ambulance Corp. Justin is currently applying to medical school and has an interest in both emergency medicine, and anesthesiology. Justin is from Northport, NY; his hobbies include building and flying RC model aircraft.