SAP @ UC, Davis - Shobana

My SAP experience at University of California, Davis was a wonderfully rewarding experience.

I had the opportunity to study courses like Human Genetics, Plant Genetics and Principles of Genetics laboratory. The first two, being theory papers, were approached very differently from what I had been used to. There was more emphasis on understanding of concepts and application. Open book tests where the norm and were in no way close to being easy. However with a good grasp of the basics that our department provides us and a little bit of hard work, it is not difficult to do well. The reading of scientific papers was also given a lot of importance.

The Lab classes were very fascinating. Some of the experiments carried out were things like transposition of the ‘red eye’ gene in fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster), observing the effects of syp-2 mutation in C.elegans, Gus staining of different mutant strains of Arabidopsis, carrying out complementation in yeast mutants to understand the effect of epistasis etc.

I also had the unique opportunity to work as a research intern in the Ross-Ibarra lab. I was in charge of a growth chamber experiment in which 56 strains of corn were sampled for temperature fitness. Working as a research intern is invaluable as it gives you the exposure to the workings of a research lab as well as one-on-one interaction with professors.

In terms of the University itself UC Davis is an excellent SAP choice, especially for students of genetics, for many reasons. UC Davis’ Department of Ecology and Evolution is ranked number 1 while it’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology comes in close at #3. It is also the cheapest as far as tuition fee is concerned since you spend only a quarter(10 weeks) there. The campus is peaceful, safe and extremely foreign student-friendly.