‘I found my future career’

At NDSU, research is a path to knowledge. Undergraduate students in nearly all majors have opportunities to conduct hands-on research, looking to solve pressing problems while they learn.

For example, Komila Rasuleva, a recent biological sciences graduate and current graduate student, is helping search for a cancer breakthrough.

She is a research assistant in the lab of Dali Sun, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. Sun recently was awarded a National Institutes of Health grant to study new ways to find and treat pancreatic cancer.

“Every aspect of research work is very interesting for me,” said Rasuleva, who is from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. “Knowing in detail how cancer starts, develops and spreads to other parts of the body brings us to the important goal of understanding all factors and interactions within cells that influence this disease. This way we can develop better detection and treatment for people.”

Rasuleva was one of six undergraduate students working in Sun’s lab. And she continues to working on the project as a graduate student. Her duties include cell growth experimentation, cell proliferation experiments and data analysis.

“This research enhances my learning experience by having a more solid biological science background. I am gaining the advanced knowledge and experimental expertise needed for my future career goals,” Rasuleva said, noting she plans to complete her master’s degree and then become a researcher for a biomedical corporation.

“This project creates an educational opportunity for NDSU undergraduate students in cutting-edge pre-clinical research,” Sun said. “I hope they can be motivated by our research, and that their work may help their families or relatives or anyone suffering from this disease.”

Based on her personal academic experience and research opportunities, Rasuleva encourages students to consider what NDSU has to offer.

“NDSU has a strong education system, developed research buildings, hands-on learning opportunities and amazing faculties,” she said. “Thanks to NDSU, I found my field of interest for my future career.”