My Experience in a Yale REU Program

Darlene Burckson ’22 (CLAS) was involved in many organizations at UConn including but not limited to WiMSE, UConn Health Leaders, the Bold Women’s Leadership Network, and the African Student Association. To add to these experiences, Darlene participated in the Yale Summer Enrichment Research Experience (YSERE) before pursuing medical school. Darlene shared with us a bit about her experience in the YSERE and why she would recommend it to other students:

After graduation, I sought out opportunities that would allow me to gain a better understanding of how to approach research in a dynamic way. My academic advisor, Katerine Pais, sent out an email with a variety of opportunities for the summer, and Yale Summer Enrichment Research Experience (YSERE) immediately stood out to me. YSERE is an intensive biomedical sciences research program that gave me first-hand experience in how molecular research was done. I was given the opportunity to work in the lab of Dr. Maor Sauler. Dr. Sauler’s research focuses on understanding the pathobiology of chronic lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

I genuinely had the most amazing experience as a YSERE intern. This internship allowed me to explore my passion for clinical-based research. Everyone in the program was so welcoming and always willing to answer any questions I had. I met so many amazing people in 6 weeks and felt incredibly supported throughout the program. This internship truly helped me gain a deeper understanding of the importance of research and how pivotal it is to have mentors for support, guidance, and clarity.

I am so excited and grateful to be continuing my journey in Dr. Sauler’s lab during my gap year as a fellow! My project focuses on understanding the molecular regulation of alveolar homeostasis. I encourage any student who thinks they might be interested in biomedical research to apply! YSERE provides you with mentorship and hands-on involvement in the lab, which results in you having a well-rounded experience. YSERE is an immersive program that will push you out of your comfort zone in a great way and lead to you building a strong foundation as a researcher! I took so much away from this program and would highly recommend it.

Read more about Darlene’s experience in YSERE here:

By Darlene Burckson
Darlene Burckson