“I've been interested in cancer since I was a kid. I've seen so many people go through it in my family. As a kid, I wanted to make them better, but now, it's like, "Hey, can I do something about it?" And that kinda just stuck with me, over to my adult-life years.
“During my undergrad years, I kinda lost that spark for science and I was like, 'I'm ready to leave. I'm ready to go back home.' And then [Dr. Joe Taube and Dr. Leigh Greathouse] came along and worked with me for my master's, and their enthusiasm and their commitment to the pursuit of knowledge was like, 'Okay, maybe there is something in this field for me, and maybe I can pursue it and make something of my own and follow their examples.' So they helped out a lot, and I decided if these people were willing to put that time and effort into making me a better researcher, a better person, I might as well stay with them and learn as much as I can from them.
“Dr. Taube has this love for science. He has this commitment to teaching others. In his laboratory, we have a pretty decent-sized lab. ... He still takes the time that if we have a question, within his schedule, he will take the time to explain to you and he will explain it to you as many times as necessary until you understand the concept. So it's just his dedication to the students that is, wow. He's the kind of guy that you don't wanna disappoint.
“And same thing with Dr. Greathouse, as well. She's very enthusiastic about what she does. She herself is a cancer survivor, and that's what brought her into the field. So hearing about her personal experiences and also her connection with God; she's done a bunch of commentary on religion and science and having faith, and it's interesting to hear her perspectives. And just having them both put the time into teaching me things that I don't necessarily know or understand well, it's very ... It feels good that there are people there who care enough to tell me that maybe I'm doing something wrong, or maybe I'm on the right track, or just giving me the guidance that I didn't necessarily have.
“Now as a graduate student, I have to be a mentor to undergrads in the Taube and Greathouse labs. I'm still learning what it is to be a mentor. ... I guess one of the things I've been able to help out with is figuring out procedures or experimental designs. Even if I don't know the answer off the top of my head, I'm just like, 'Okay. You know what? Let's just figure this out together.' That way, I learn as well. So it's not that I'm just teaching the undergrads, it's also that they're helping me learn.”
Aadil Sheikh, BS ’17, MA’ 18
-- Doctoral student in biology
-- Cedar Park, TX
-- One of thousands of #BaylorLights