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Nicole Heard

Interview with Nicole Heard

BS in Biological Sciences – Integrative Physiology and Neurobiology

Anticipated Graduation:  December 2017 

Fun facts about Nicole:

I am a first-generation college student as well as a transfer student.  I attended Alamance Community College before coming to NC State.

What is your proudest accomplishment as an NC State student?

I would say my proudest accomplishment is helping with research on invasive mice in Dr. Godwin’s lab.  I received a grant to conduct individual research on mating behavior of mice.

What do you love best about your department or major?

What I love most about my major is that it can be taken in so many directions.  I am really interested in behavior, and a concentration in Integrative Physiology and Neurobiology allows me to study many physiological factors associated with different behaviors.

What do you plan to do after graduating from NC State?

I currently work as a Research Assistant for a company in Durham directed towards gene editing and gene therapy. My immediate plans are to continue with that position and eventually to pursue a graduate degree. Immediately after graduation though, there will be a fair amount of binge-watching!

Care to give a shout-out to a faculty or staff member that you’d like to recognize?

My Advisor Jill Anderson has been absolutely amazing and has helped and guided me through everything. She has been great to talk to and work with throughout this process. I’ve had such great experiences with teachers here at NCSU, but a few that have made a long-lasting impression are Dr. Godwin and Dr. Meitzen. They are both such great instructors! The Ph.D. student I assist, Megan Serr, has also been such a positive influence and such a great person to work with.

What advice would you give to students at the beginning of their degree program?

I would say, “No one thing defines you.” If you fail a class, it’s only one class! Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going. Don’t let one failure, in any aspect of life, tarnish all your successes.

Here are just some of the skills Nicole has developed through NC State:

  • Extracting DNA, PCR protocol, and gel electrophoresis
  • Basic cloning procedures and design
  • Restriction digest analysis
  • Plasmid purification
  • General lab maintenance
  • Behavioral testing on mice
  • Lab animal care and maintenance
  • Tissue sampling
  • Data collection and analysis