Student Spotlight: Sadie Waterman

One could say that Sadie Waterman’s research journey began at birth. “I have always been interested in human congenital diseases because my life began with a surgery to correct one.” After gaining a strong STEM background during high school, she decided to major in biology and upon arriving at UMaine, she “immediately became involved in undergraduate research. With no prior research experience, I hoped to learn about muscle cell formation and find ways to contribute to the scientific community’s understanding of muscle development.”

During her freshman year, Waterman met Dr. Jared Talbot and soon joined his lab. “We investigate skeletal muscle cell formation; our work contributes both to the scientific community’s understanding of muscle development and to the field of congenital muscle disease. Through my work in the Talbot lab, I have met all of my personal goals and I’ve had the opportunity to become an integral member of this captivating research community.” Specifically, her project focuses on using “zebrafish to investigate the relationship between Mylpf protein abundance and muscle growth. I have created several antibodies to zebrafish mylpf genes, both mylpfa and mylpfb, which I am using to label Mylpf protein and test how much Mylpf dosage contributes to overall fast-twitch muscle growth.”

Waterman recommends that all students get involved with research, citing the many opportunities and enrichment it provides. “Becoming involved in research is an incredible opportunity, regardless of your major or field of study. Joining a research team at any point in your educational career can expose you to new learning, foster curiosity, teach you new skills, or deepen your understanding of a current interest. There are so many ways to get involved, and I think that every undergraduate student should explore these opportunities through the University of Maine. Every person in a lab brings new ideas and experiences to their field, and this provides a great networking opportunity beyond the classroom, lab, or even the university. I am very grateful for the incredible experience I have had through the past four years, and I encourage others to take initiative and get involved any way they can.”