Julia earned the BACE credential while in high school. She credits the BACE for helping her find a position as an undergraduate researcher in a developmental biology lab at the University of Florida.
Where do you attend college?
The University of Florida.
What degree/certificate(s) do you hold?
I have a Bachelor's degree and I am currently working on my Master's degree at the University of Florida.
I completed the BACE (Biotechnician Assistant Credentialing Exam) during my senior year at Spanish River High School. The BACE is an industry-recognized exam designed to assess core skills and knowledge sets identified by industry, and aligned with the performance standards in many biotechnology programs.
What do you do for your job?
I have been working on creating a developmental atlas with nanoCT data. Nano CT is is a nanoscale 3D X-ray microscope used for 3D imaging. Nanotomograpy is a high-resolution imaging technique that uses X-rays to create cross-sections of a 3D object. These data can be used to recreate a virtual model. My project involves collecting specimens, contrast-staining the specimens, CT scanning them, and virtually segmenting out the organs of these specimens.
Most of my time is spent conducting virtual analysis of the specimen segmentations. Soon, I will be analyzing single-cell RNA sequencing data for another project, so my days will also involve analyzing RNA sequencing data through bioinformatics techniques.
What are some techniques you commonly use?
- analyzing image data,
What advice would you give someone who is interested in a biotech career?
Obtain the BACE credential.
Earning the BACE credential gave me an advantage in my initial stages of both looking for a lab as well as working in a lab. I already had a basic understanding of many lab techniques (both how to conduct these techniques as well as what they do/why we use them), and that made me a better candidate for undergraduate research positions. I think the aspect of my academic/career path that the BACE credential most helped me with was simply learning about opportunities in the Biotech field. Before joining the Biotechnology Academy and earning the BACE credential, I hadn't heard much about biotechnology in general. Earning the BACE opened new doors in terms of the potential opportunities I was thinking about for my future. If it weren't for BACE, I don't think I would've even known that I could conduct research as a freshman undergraduate.
What is the best thing about your job?
The thing I like most about my job is how we're using cutting-edge techniques to provide important information for the world. Even as an undergraduate, I felt like an integral part of our team.