Darian Yee

Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Hi my name is Darian! I am an undergraduate researcher in my third year, and I received an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) for this Summer to conduct research on the “Characterization of the Hair proteome”.

Why did you choose to come to SFU?

SFU has a lot to offer! An awesome view from the top of Burnaby Mountain, easy access to nature, a great variety of places to eat nearby, and a strong research foundation that conducts meaningful research and offers an abundant supply of opportunities to get involved are some of the reasons why I chose to study at SFU.

How would you describe your research or program to a family member?

I investigate the human hair proteome, meaning the complement of proteins that are contained within human hair. Proteins are vital to the growth, function, and death of all cells, and the abundance and presence of certain proteins in the body may be altered due to changes in one’s health. If we can identify these alterations in the hair proteome, it would mean that we could potentially connect them to health changes such as the occurrence of disease or the emergence of other health issues.

What are you particularly enjoying about your studies/research at SFU?

I enjoy the freedom I have in my lab. The rules in every lab are different, but in mine I can freely come and go as I please and do not need to stick to a daily schedule, so long as I complete my required weekly hours and am able to produce meaningful results. I often need to wait 30mins to an hour for some steps in my experiments to finish, during which I often spend my time enjoying the nature and scenery as I walk around campus. Apart from this, I find the plentiful amount research labs with a great diversity of different goals and focuses to be an amazing aspect of the research institution here at SFU.

What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?

Getting into a lab for the first time is the most challenging part of entering research because you have little research experience yet must convince a prof to let you join their lab. Instructions on How to Apply to Join a Lab: 1) Look up the website for a specific SFU department you’re interested in and click on “Undergraduate Research” to explore the different labs that department offers. 2) Make a list of labs you are interested in and note down the room number/email of the prof in charge. 3) Email or visit the prof. More important to profs than experience is passion, so come with a genuine interest in their research, as well as your resume and transcript. 4) That’s it. Good luck!

FAQ: Q: Can I join a lab in a different department than my own? A: Yes.