Fascinated by science and the human body at a young age, Lauren Rochefort ’19 always knew that she wanted to make a difference as part of the scientific community. “I really want to be part of something bigger in science. I want to be able to contribute to the body of knowledge that we currently have and use it to help others,” she says.
For the last two summers, Rochefort has been able to do just that as an investigator in the research lab of Professor Christopher Reid, Ph.D., where she has studied antibiotics alongside a dedicated group of other young scientists through an RI-INBRE grant. “My team is like a family. I love it,” says Rochefort. “I was terrified at first because I had never worked in a lab before but it’s been such an amazing experience. Everyone there wants to help you be a better scientist.”
Being part of that family means helping to guide other students. “I’ve learned a lot of what I know about lab procedure from Keyanna Roohani ’17, and it’s important for those of us in the lab to pass on what we know to the newer students,” says Rochefort, who helped develop a procedure for creating compounds that is used by students in the University’s Organic Chemistry labs. Rochefort also works with Bryant’s Health Education Awareness Leaders group.
The focus on mentoring extends to the lab’s principal investigator. “Doctor Reid is so enthusiastic about the work we’re doing,” says Rochefort. “He’s such an amazing person to work for and he’s helping me with resumes and applications to different graduate programs.”
Rochefort, a member of the Sigma Xi scientific research honor society, has presented her work at a range of scholarly conferences, including a National Meeting of The American Chemistry Society, the RI Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship conference, and at Bryant’s Research and Engagement Day, a celebration of student and faculty research and collaboration.
“Being able to attend conferences like the national meeting of the ACS can be a little intimidating at first,” she admits, “but then you realize that everyone there is just like you – they want to learn and share ideas. And they’re genuinely interested in the work we’ve done as undergrads, which is kind of amazing.”
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
• Worked in the lab of Professor Chris Reid Ph.D. on biomedical research projects, funded by RI-INBRE
256th ACS National Meeting
• Presented work on microwave-assisted organic synthesis at a national meeting of the American Chemical Society, one of the largest gatherings of its kind in the world
11th Annual RI SURF Conference
• Presented her work at a showcase of the research done by SURF undergraduates, which drew over 400 faculty, students and administrators
Health Education Awareness Leaders
• Helps educate the Bryant community about public health concerns such as mental health, domestic violence, and sexual health
Member of Sigma Xi scientific research honor society
Bryant's purposeful student life delivers co-curricular immersion with an inspiring, collegial community. Students forge deep connections that last a lifetime.