Julia Goralsky

Student, Columbia University
  • Columbia University
  • People
  • United States of America

I am a/an:

Undergraduate Scholar

Area of Expertise

Biomedical Sciences

Research Topic

Medical Sciences

Laidlaw Cohort Year

2022

University

Columbia University

I am from:

United States of America

I speak:

English French Spanish

My hobbies/interests are:

Outdoor sports Travelling

I am open to participating in mentoring/buddy programmes

Yes

Influencer Of

Topics

Rooms participated in:

Columbia University

Recent Comments

Jun 24, 2022
Replying to Julia Goralsky
  • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

I do have the eventual goal of creating a paper to present the project I have been completing this summer. Yet, the timeline of this mode of presentation will depend on the results my experiments produce within the next 2 weeks. While at the conclusion of the program, I will likely have enough data to begin to construct a general outline, I will likely need to continue my execution of trials into the fall semester. My independent project is also a part of a larger scientific study, and while my own portion of the project is more independent, the work I am ultimately completing will be utilized by the lab to determine the course of future experiments/projects.

  • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

I am investigating the mechanism of interaction between Wee1 and PKMYT1 inhibitors and ALT positive cancer cells. This involves determining which cell types are more susceptible to the effects of these therapeutics, imaging the process of cell destruction that results from these treatments, and understanding the efficacy of specific drug concentrations. This research can ultimately contribute to the body of knowledge supporting current clinical trials for both Wee1 and PKMYT1 inhibitors, as well as suggest a combination of treatments that could be used in the future. Furthermore, observing the broader effects of drug treatment can help us understand more about the mechanism of the ALT pathway in cancers, which in turn can lead to the development of specific cellular targets and more successful treatments for those suffering from these cancers. My interest in this research thus largely stems from its ability to make a direct, positive impact on those who are diagnosed with cancers that often become resistant to drug treatment. 

I haven't yet, but I will definitely look for the opportunity as I develop my results!

Jun 24, 2022
Replying to Noah J Bergam

    Q1: One sort of embarrassing roadblock was that I had this idea for an experiment that wasn't exactly possible. I had written the idea down and developed preliminary tables for how to show the data, but then I realized I had not quite fleshed out the specifics, so come time to write the code, I realized there was a flaw in my understanding of how large language model pre-training actually works. I adjusted, and luckily I was able to salvage an analogous experiment that would essentially test the same idea. 

    I have also recently been bouncing between the appeal of writing and coding as I try to wrap up my experiments. I tend to be much more engaged in laying out my ideas in theory––most of the time, I find coding to be quite tedious, as it comes down to me looking up specific keywords and libraries to implement relatively simple ideas that come to mind. However, I need to code. A lot. And this was the first week where I really spent substantial time training models and running experiments. It is hard. It pushes me out of my comfort zone. At the same time, it really has influenced my theories and hypotheses. It's made my technical writing more precise.

    • What research resources have proven particularly useful to you as you continue your research?

    Q2: Honestly, I think rereading some of the papers that I read earlier in the program has been a very useful exercise. There tends to be this desire to look at new material as you delve deeper into a subject, but I think that desire tends to run contradictory to the fact that you need to review and check your baseline understanding of things. It really helps connect the dots and make you realize that you're perhaps not as lost as you thought––that you're making progress in your understanding.

    Hi Noah and Neha! I can definitely relate as well to the tedious nature of experimentation, and it often feels that a lot of work goes into obtaining minimal results (I have definitely been feeling this way as I have transitioned to clonogenic assays). I also think you have a valid point about reviewing the original papers your project has been founded upon. I keep finding myself checking my original notes when attempting to understand the results of a new study or even the evidence derived from my experiments. I'm super excited to hear more about your projects! Good luck!

    Jun 24, 2022
    • What new ideas, challenges, or other issues have you encountered with regard to your project (this might include data collection, information that contradicts your assumptions or the assertions of others, materials that have enriched your understanding of the topic or led you to change your project, etc.)? How have these ideas or challenges shaped the bigger picture of your research? Has the scope or focus of your topic changed since you began this project? If so, how?

    One of the major challenges with my project has involved collecting experimental data. Throughout the first couple weeks of the program, I was primarily learning the protocols my project required even as I was completing my initial data trials. This often made collecting the information difficult, given that as I was still learning how to complete the protocols, I made a lot of mistakes. Ultimately, this has led to a fluctuation in experimental results that so far has prevented me from drawing definite conclusions. Furthermore, given that I am working with cell cultures, the protocols often take at least a week to complete, which makes it difficult to correct errors that occur during the process. That being said, as I have continued to refine my technique, I have been able to set multiple trials into motion that will hopefully allow me to get a better idea of my research project. Dealing with these longer protocols encouraged me to adjust my project to focus on how the variation in cell type could impact the cell’s susceptibility to the specific drugs I am examining. I can run multiple cultures at the same time and plan to have about 3-4 trials completed this summer before I continue my research in the fall. Ultimately, this focus has provided me with a small niche within which to understand a specific mechanistic aspect of the drug’s effect (particularly as they are involved with DNA damage repair pathways) instead of just more broadly understanding the effects of drug concentration on cell viability.

    • What research resources have proven particularly useful to you as you continue your research?

    The CLIO database, especially its connection to a variety of journals, has been particularly useful for me in organizing information for a literature review that can provide the background information necessary for explaining my project. I have also been mainly reviewing online articles through the National Library of Medicine.

    Jun 17, 2022

    While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

    I'm sure I'm not at all alone in feeling that the month has flown by. That being said, it has become increasingly apparent to me that I will be unable to finish my project by six weeks, something I was completely prepared to contend with: I had always envisioned my project as falling within a two-summer scope, and the amount of preparatory research (understanding the economic, historical, sociopolitical, and anthropological bases of the community I'm studying) I need to undertake before I engage in the fieldwork of the second summer, I think my focus for this phase of my research is to come up with a well-annotated bibliography (which I'm already working on, thanks to Zotero) and a good understanding of the major theories, literature, and gaps in the field I'm trying to approach. With all of that, I'll be able to yield my own theoretical framework for the Symposium, and as long as I can achieve a solid footing for my field research I will consider this a summer well spent. 

    Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

    We are becoming increasingly concerned with indigenous justice: land acknowledgments and widespread awareness are becoming more and more the norm. However, though they are essential for recognition, there is very little these measures actually do in terms of restitution. Understanding indigenous land management and governance is the first step toward creating policies that don't just try to "manage" indigenous people from a paternalistic point of view and that harm the environment in the process, but rather come up with policies that respect those who inhabit and have inhabited a place, that respond to their needs and knowledge, and that are motivated by care for the land rather than profit.

    Yes, you are definitely not alone in that feeling! I think your annotated bibliography sounds like a great way to explore the preexisting theoretical frameworks, especially in the sense of understanding the gaps in current policy research. I have been struggling to orient my research within the broader scope of current studies, so I think focusing on a greater organization and interaction of my sources like you will do for the bibliography may be something that could help me in my research as well!

     

    Jun 17, 2022
    • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

    I do have the eventual goal of creating a paper to present the project I have been completing this summer. Yet, the timeline of this mode of presentation will depend on the results my experiments produce within the next 2 weeks. While at the conclusion of the program, I will likely have enough data to begin to construct a general outline, I will likely need to continue my execution of trials into the fall semester. My independent project is also a part of a larger scientific study, and while my own portion of the project is more independent, the work I am ultimately completing will be utilized by the lab to determine the course of future experiments/projects.

    • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

    I am investigating the mechanism of interaction between Wee1 and PKMYT1 inhibitors and ALT positive cancer cells. This involves determining which cell types are more susceptible to the effects of these therapeutics, imaging the process of cell destruction that results from these treatments, and understanding the efficacy of specific drug concentrations. This research can ultimately contribute to the body of knowledge supporting current clinical trials for both Wee1 and PKMYT1 inhibitors, as well as suggest a combination of treatments that could be used in the future. Furthermore, observing the broader effects of drug treatment can help us understand more about the mechanism of the ALT pathway in cancers, which in turn can lead to the development of specific cellular targets and more successful treatments for those suffering from these cancers. My interest in this research thus largely stems from its ability to make a direct, positive impact on those who are diagnosed with cancers that often become resistant to drug treatment. 

    Jun 10, 2022
    Replying to Harrison Gerson

    One of the biggest issues in the ecotourism sphere is green gentrification, which is when the development or greater use of a green area increases the value of local communities and often displaces them. This process has happened along the High-Line for example. Similarly, ecotourism may not best serve the people who live in the area as well as the environment. I am responding to these issues by educating myself about the current state and history of ecotourism and critically viewing “developments” before assuming that green equals good.

    As ecotourism can be controversial, I am considering alternative viewpoints. I am interacting with professors and businesspeople. In both groups, some people feel more positive about ecotourism, even if it may change the environment, caring a lot about the profits and efficiency. Others feel very critical of engaging with new developments and see tourists as less likely to care for the environment on vacation. I want to consider differing viewpoints so that my product presents a nuanced perspective.

    When looking at the big picture situation, I definitely agree with you that it is very easy to get caught up in the assumption that “green equals good.” As a result, I’m excited to see how your project incorporates this diversity of perspective on ecotourism. Are you planning on completing any interview data collection with residents from areas particularly affected by this phenomenon of green gentrification? Also, in terms of your project’s end result, will you place your own opinion on the issue into the conversation or are you more focused on the goal of representing the plethora of perspectives?

    Jun 09, 2022
    • What are some of the ethical issues that you are grappling with in your research? What are some of the ways in which you are responding to these questions?

    One significant issue of ethics that is prevalent within the environment of the lab is the tension between the urgency to publish and the necessity to completely explore results that are produced. I think learning to balance these concerns while always prioritizing accuracy in the results I collect and a depth in content will be very important to remember, not only in the research I am completing this summer but in any academic work that I pursue later on throughout my career. 

    • As you continue your research, have you considered alternative viewpoints in your investigation? If so, how have these alternative viewpoints enriched or changed your project?

    Working in the realm of seemingly objective forms of science, it may be difficult to find different viewpoints or perspectives to use to explore my results. In the place of different viewpoints, I am employing a variety of different protocols and procedures in my project that can be used to corroborate similar results in order to ensure that the research I do produce is not merely supported from a single side/procedure.

    Jun 02, 2022
    Replying to Elianna Lee

    Last week the trainings and discussions we had cut across the disciplines. How does the interdisciplinary nature of this program, the fact that students are focusing on such a diverse range of projects, help you think about your project and/or your academic interests more broadly?

    The interdisciplinary nature of this program has really allowed me to think beyond the borders of specific "lenses" that I can study my subject in; I think it is very important to understand that, at any point, a field of study will involve many different areas of study. For example, though it is based in ethnicity and race studies, my project must also be considered through the lens of gender and sexuality studies and media studies. My project does not start and end in the same academic department, and the same goes for any academic endeavor I choose to pursue in the future.

    As you begin your individual research projects this week, do you anticipate any challenges in getting started? If so, what are they?

    I think one of my biggest challenges this far is being able to search for the information I need in the right way; for example, using specific phrases to get catalog results that are relevant to my project. Another challenge that I anticipate is being able to access media from the early 2000s, as those items may not be old enough to be archived, and may be more difficult to find on the internet.

    I can definitely relate to your challenge of finding the needed information as well as the challenge of figuring out the best way to explore the extensive resources we’ve been introduced to. In a way though, I think this lack of easily available information could also force us to be a bit creative with our data collection, which overall could be a somewhat fun (although daunting) challenge.