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Brianna Bibel


Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

If you’re asked to figure out how something works, one of your first instincts is probably to look at it. You may want to take apart its various pieces, look at them individually, and put them back together again. This is the same basic premise behind my research figuring out how cellular machinery uses microRNA to tightly control gene expression to allow cells to grow and develop without becoming cancerous. Unlike the toys you may have taken apart as a child, however, the molecules I study are much too small to be seen with the naked eye (or even a traditional microscope), so I need to use a variety of scientific techniques and equipment to help me “see” and manipulate them.

Scientific curiosity is a strong driver for me, but it isn’t the only thing I love about my work; science and humanities are often depicted as contradictory, but my studies inside the lab have changed my view of the world outside.

In a world often tainted by chaos and ugliness, I appreciate that structural biology allows me to uncover the ordered beauty hiding within all living things. I hope to share this beauty with others, and am therefore pursuing a PhD at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in New York, where I also serve as Social Media Chair for CSHL’s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) group.