SFU Undergrad Researcher: Tracy Huynh

Introducing Tracy Huynh of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry!

Name: Tracy Huynh
Major: Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Year: Fourth
Supervisors: Dr. Andrew Weng, Terry Fox Laboratory, BC Cancer Research Centre (current) and Dr. Michael Silverman, Department of Biological Sciences (former)


Q: How did you get involved in research?
A: It’s kind of a funny story. In November 2015, I was in the midst of doing my second co-op term at Pacific Environmental Science Centre as an Analytical Chemist. I realized that I was going back to school soon and then I began to absolutely regret waking up every morning because I knew I was getting that much closer to 10-hour study days again. Do you know how amazing it is to be able to fall asleep without having to worry about how a single mark on a single midterm from a single class could destroy your hopes and dreams and haunt you for the rest of your life? You’re so at peace when you’re not in school!
I browsed through some professor’s profiles in the Department of Biology one day out of curiosity and came across Dr. Silverman’s page. He had a picture of a fluorescent neuron on his website. It was cool. So I read through his research and sent him an e-mail to see if he was interested in taking on a volunteer for the Spring 2016 semester, since I would no longer be in co-op.
We met several times one-on-one throughout November-December. Eventually, somehow, we both agreed on me taking on an Honours Thesis/NSERC project with him for a year. I was only in my third year and had completed a total of ZERO 3rd year MBB courses. I was completely underqualified for the job and I told him that and I’m sure he knew that too. But, hey, I have to give a huge shoutout to Dr. S for taking a chance on me. Sometimes, it’s okay to put yourself out there with a bit of humility. From January 2016-December 2016, I worked on my project and finally got to present NEGATIVE results in December. Great times, man.

Q: What is your research about?
A: My research involved studying the impairment of autophagy and its effects on Alzheimer’s disease in neurons. Autophagy is an important cellular function for the degradation of damaged or malfunctioning proteins and organelles in a cell. It is particularly crucial in the post-mitotic neurons in our brain, which cannot simply dilute the toxic burden of damaged proteins by normal cell division. A disruption to the autophagic process can be particularly detrimental to neuronal survival. In my research, I treated cultured neurons with amyloid beta oligomers (AβOs), which are toxic and insoluble proteins that need to be degraded. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the presence of these AβO-containing plaques and a buildup of immature autophagic vesicles, suggesting some impairment of the autophagy pathway. My goal was to see whether there was a relationship between AβOs and the normal autophagic process.

Q: What’s your favourite course that you have taken so far in your degree?
A: I would have to say MBB 321: Intermediary Metabolism. It was so interesting to see how all of the ongoing metabolic pathways co-exist and interconnect in this amazing map of the cell. So many molecules are being made and degraded at the same time in each of the trillion cells inside our bodies. I also really enjoyed MBB 308 labs. Dr. Honda is such a boss.

Q: What will you be working on this summer?
A: I am actually going to be on co-op once again! I will be working under a few graduate students in Dr. Andrew Weng’s lab, who is an MD PhD, Senior Scientist in the Terry Fox Laboratory at BC Cancer Research Centre. I am so excited to be able to participate in a new project in the field of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and I am certain I would not have even received an interview offer if it weren’t for my time researching in Dr. S’s lab. I still have a lot to learn and am looking forward to see where this co-op job might take me next.
I’m also going to be hiking a lot this summer because I’m a huge hiking enthusiast. Hence why I chose the hiking photo instead of a picture of me in the lab. Why look at pipette tips and computers when you can look at a beautiful BC backdrop? Am I right? #beautifulbc #explorebc… By the way, I’m trying to get Instafamous so #followme #f4f #l4l lmao, I’m hilarious.

Q: What scares you the most in the lab or the field?
A: Failure. I am used to projects failing and receiving negative results (I presented an entire thesis on why my project did not work). I have learned all of this the hard way and with a lot of support from my mentors and peers. But, I am no longer afraid of getting negative results. I am more scared of failing my supervisor. They took a chance on me and that’s what scares me the most, is letting them down. I know they have gone through their fair shares of trials and upsets. It just scares me to think I might be disappointing anyone if I don’t work hard enough. Luckily, every single supervisor I have worked with has been empathetic and so supportive.

SFU Undergrad Researcher: Sarah Savić Kallesøe

Introducing Sarah Savić Kallesøe of the Faculty of Health Sciences!

Name: Sarah Savić Kallesøe
Major: Health Sciences (B.Sc.)
Year: Fourth
Supervisor: Dr. Howard Trottier of the Department of Physics, SFU


Q: What is your research about?
A: Besides public outreach, I also help with the data collection for the research projects led by Dr Howard Trottier. We are currently measuring the distance to Andromeda Galaxy, our nearest spiral galaxy neighbour. The purpose of this project isn’t so much to produce new findings, as the distance to Andromeda has been established (about 2.5 million light years away, if you were wondering). Rather, we are exploring the limits of our equipment. The observatory was opened only two years ago and a lot of our equipment is younger than that. We have two auxiliary spectroscopy units, a planetary imaging camera, a deep sky imaging camera, a handful of narrow band filters, a lunar filter on the way, and a solar telescope on the way as well. With each new project, we discover that we can measure something we initially thought we were unable to detect. We are in the process of planning a research project to produce new data after the Andromeda project. More exciting news to come! In the meantime, make sure you drop by the observatory during our open house hours and ask your questions about space! Follow us on Twitter at @sfutrottobs and visit our Facebook page to keep up to date about our bi-weekly Friday night events.

Q: What are your plans for the summer?
A: This summer, I will be studying observational astrophysics at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark! This is a really exciting opportunity because only 10 students in the world every year are admitted into this course. For the practical portion of the course, we will be collecting data at the internationally renown Nordic Telescope in La Palma, Spain. During my three months in Denmark, I will also be helping with the construction of the new spectrograph for the Nordic Telescope.

Q: What is a typical “day in the life” in the lab for you?
A: Since the observatory is meant for public outreach and research, most of my time at the observatory is dedicated to holding free public events. When the skies are clear, our Friday night events can attract over 300 people! The observatory is open 2 to 3 times a week and during that time I am giving tours, showing the public the space photographs taken at the observatory, and answering questions about our universe.
When the skies are clear and there isn’t a public event planned, we will conduct data collection for our research projects. Usually we start data collection at 11pm and finish at 5am in the summer (or 8pm to 6am in the winter), depending on how long the skies stay clear. There have been a few cases when I have done a full day of classes, stayed on campus until it got dark, and then stayed up all night doing data collection at the observatory, and then gone back to classes! While the collection process may be long and tiresome, you can’t help but feel excited when you see the first image of a galaxy in deep space on your computer screen.

Q: What scares you the most in the lab?
A: When I was a kid, I was afraid of the dark, and I’m willing to admit that I still am a little bit afraid of the dark. Of course, that fear makes it pretty inconvenient to be an astronomer who happens to do most of their data collection at night. The sound of the dome rotating can startle you if you don’t expect it. But now that I’ve spent so many nights at the observatory, I’m accustomed to it.

Q: What’s the funniest thing in the lab that’s happened to you?
A: We have a panic button in the Control Room of the observatory, which is where we spend most of the time monitoring the data as we collect it. For the longest time, the panic button didn’t have a cover and if you leaned on it, the alarm would sound. I have accidentally leaned on the panic button twice, and each time I was surprised and the other staff members got a good laugh out of it. After the second incident, we finally got a cover for the panic button.

SFU Undergrad Researcher: Nikola Surjanovic

Introducing Nikola Surjanovic of the Department of Statistics!

Name: Nikola Surjanovic
Major: Statistics
Year: Second
Supervisor: Dr. Thomas Loughin

Nikola Photo Professional.jpg

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: I hope to become a professor in the future. I am enthusiastic about teaching others, and I also feel that I will enjoy research.

Q: What will you be working on this summer?
A: In order to detect if a model is a poor fit for given data, there are various “Goodness-of-fit” tests, which help in this process. The Hosmer-Lemeshow test is often used for logistic regression models, and it is desirable to know whether a similar test would work for Poisson regression models. To analyze this, a simulation study will be conducted.
Essentially, for people not taking statistics courses, I will be trying to find out whether one test can work in another scenario. If so, some questions that should be answered are: under what conditions will the test work, and how well does it perform?

Q: What’s your favorite course that you have taken so far?
A: One of my favourite courses, which I took in this spring semester, is STAT 240 – Introduction to Data Science. It’s a new course and exposes students to modern tools for data acquisition. I would highly recommend it to anyone who will ever be dealing with data on a regular basis (who won’t?). There are some very basic prerequisites.
More info here.

Q: What’s a science joke or meme from your field?


SFU Undergrad Researcher: Cassidy Jones

Introducing Cassidy Jones of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry!


Name: Cassidy Jones
Major: Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Year: Fourth
Supervisor: Dr. Sharon Gorski (BC Cancer Agency)

Q: What have you been working on in your research so far?
A: I am currently in the Gorski lab at the BC Cancer Agency, studying the relationship between HER2 and the autophagy-related protein (ATG4B) in HER2 overexpressing breast, gastric and lung cancers. HER2 overexpressing cancers are typically associated with a poor prognosis and acquired treatment resistance to HER2 therapeutics is common. The “big goal” is to modulate autophagy in order to better treat these aggressive cancer subtypes. I have approximately 15 different cell lines on the go at the moment, so I’ve been spending a lot of time in tissue culture! A number of the cell lines are new to the BC Cancer Agency, so I have put in a lot of work optimizing growth conditions and researching methods in the primary literature.

Q: If you were a scientific lab instrument, which one would you be?
A: This semester I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time going around in circles on my research, so I think I would say I’m like the PCR machine. I just keep cycling and cycling, producing a mass amount of data, a lot of which looks the same!

Q: What’s the funniest thing in the lab that’s happened to you?
A: Well this one is more funny/sad, than funny. Recently I have been expanding an extremely slow growing gastric cell line that I need to run siRNA knockdown experiments on. After three weeks of waiting, the cells were ready to be passaged and plated. Unfortunately, the water bath was malfunctioning and overheated to 44C (apparently it doesn’t have an alarm). My media bottle was nearly empty so I didn’t realize it until I went to count the cells on the hemocytometer – yep, they all died. At first I didn’t know what happened, but when I went to get my other media bottles, they were almost bursting from the pressure. So now I have to re-expand this line again from frozen stock! It’s the smallest of details that can make all the difference sometimes – you have to triple check everything.

Q: Favorite science joke or meme from your field?
A: We have this quote posted in our lab – it helps on those long days where nothing seems to work:
“Theory is when one knows everything but nothing works.
Practice is when everything works and no one knows why.
Theory and practice are combined here: nothing works and no one knows why.”

Q: What is a typical “day in the life” in the lab for you?
A: I’ve been pushing the limits of my own endurance this semester, trying to get most of my project finished. I get to the lab most days by 6am and there’s many days I don’t leave until 9-10pm. I’ve also worked “overnight” in the lab this semester, and a 6-7 day work week is pretty normal for me right now. I spend a lot of time in tissue culture “babying” my cells and I have run more gels and western blots than I care to count! I just keep telling myself it will be worth it in the end.

SFU Undergrad Researcher: William Shen

Introducing William Shen of the Departments of Chemistry and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry!


Name: William Shen
Faculty: Chemistry and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Year: Fourth
Supervisor: Dr. Hogan Yu

Q: What have you been working on in your research so far?
A: My research is focused on modifying surfaces to create superhydrophobic and cytotoxic materials with silanes and nanoparticles. My original project was meant to impart hydrophobic properties onto materials but I wanted to direct the applications towards the biology side of things so I implemented antimicrobial properties in addition. Having volunteered in health care for a few years, one of the main things that I noticed is that outbreaks are pretty common and when they do happen, quality of life takes a major nosedive. If I can develop a simple flexible process to modify materials that can limit bacteria derived nosocomial infections through contact transfers, then it would be beneficial to everyone. Another application that I have also spent a lot of time developing are durable superhydrophobic and antimicrobial textiles.

Q: What is a typical “day in the life” in the lab for you?
A: I could potentially be doing anything from creating thin films of polymers on surfaces, synthesizing nanoparticles, performing Kirby-Bauer and other susceptibility tests, or characterizing and interpreting data from instruments like contact angle goniometers and scanning electron microscopy. I don’t have much of a normal everyday routine in the lab in terms of the experiments I plan.

Q: What’s your favourite course that you have taken so far in your degree?
A: I have quite a few favourite courses but I would say CHEM 459 – Special Topics in Organic Chemistry is my favourite. The course was taught by David Vocadlo and the topic that he chose was chemical biology. When I started university, I chose MBB as my major because I loved biology and chemistry. I was disappointed that MBB never quite went into the chemistry of anything in any sort of detail…it was sort of just glossed over for the most part. Fast forward to the end of second year and I found out about the Chemistry and MBB joint program and decided to switch into it. It wasn’t until I took chemical biology that I felt like there was a course that satisfied what I wanted originally. It took everything great about chemistry, everything great about molecular biology and biochemistry, and blended it into a different field that I loved. I would definitely recommend the course with Dr. Vocadlo to anyone if you get the chance.

Q: If you were a scientific lab instrument, which one would you be?
A: A scanning electron microscope because it’s my favourite characterization technique by far for materials and who wouldn’t want to be part electron gun???

Q: Who is your biggest science crush?
A: Elon Musk because I always admire someone who has the guts to take on high-risk high reward scenarios where you could potentially lose everything. Plus, he called his tunnel boring company “The Boring Company.” A+

Q: What scares you the most in the lab or the field?
A: Breaking very expensive equipment.

SFU Undergrad Researcher: Cherlene Emma Chang

Introducing Cherlene Emma Chang of the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology!


Name: Cherlene Emma Chang
Department: Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology
Year: Third
Supervisor: Dr. Tom Claydon

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: A bioinformatical and clinical researcher. Computation is an increasingly invaluable skillset in the life sciences to quantify
scientific observations, while clinical relevance engages research with the treatment and management of patients to improve their
quality of life.

Q: How did you get involved in research?
A: I got involved in research through the BPK Co-op Program. Co-op is great for students to explore their career options and gain
valuable experience in their respective fields.

Q: What have you been working on in your research so far?
A: I have modelled the effects on the cardiac action potential as a result of the action of low pH on hERG potassium channels.
Myocardial ischemia occurs when blockage of coronary arteries reduces blood flow, preventing adequate oxygen perfusion. One
major consequence is acidosis, a reduction in local pH, contributing to cardiac arrhythmia. Acidosis profoundly affects hERG
potassium channels which provide a major repolarizing drive in the heart, and may suppress the protective mechanism of hERG
channels in preventing premature heartbeats.

Q: What will you be working on this summer?
A: This summer, my project is on zebrafish (Danio rerio) hearts as an excellent model of human cardiac electrophysiology. I will
use zebrafish hearts to study the action potential duration and cytoplasmic calcium handling using optical mapping techniques. I
aim to assess the effects of acidosis on irregular heartbeats using computer simulations.

Q: What is a typical “day in the life” in the lab for you?
A: I strike a balance between computational analysis and running experiments, where I write code in MATLAB and record ionic
currents in frog eggs (Xenopus laevis oocytes). I find that analyzing the data I collected firsthand enriches my research experience
through offering a well-rounded perspective on how each task fits in the bigger picture.

Q: What’s your favourite course that you have taken so far in your degree?
A: Introduction to Biological Physics (PHYS 347). Specifically, the electric circuit model of action potential propagation along a
neuron offered a fresh quantitative perspective on physiology.

Q: If you were a scientific lab instrument, which one would you be?
A: If I were a scientific lab instrument, I would be a computer. I enjoy modeling experimental data to equations, generating figures
for publications, and preparing powerpoint slides for presentations.

Q: What’s the funniest thing in research that’s happened to you?
A: During the 2017 BPK Research Day, I tripped down the stairs in the auditorium in my three-inch platform boots and spilled water
on myself. I laughed it off. Surprisingly, this incident calmed me down for my upcoming three-minute thesis and poster

Q: What scares you the most in research?
A: The uncertainty of the future. Researchers apply for grants to get funded. Oftentimes there are more up-and-coming researchers
than grants available. Nonetheless, I will put my best foot forward in securing future grants.

SFU Undergrad Researcher: Natalie Maslowski

Introducing Natalie Maslowski of the Department of Biology!

Name: Natalie Maslowski
Major: Biology
Year: 1
Supervisor: Dr. Isabella Cote


Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: (Short term wise) I am currently aiming to be a part of a biology related research team. (Long term wise), I have always been interested in pursuing a career as a Professor (or some career in academia), when I was much younger I had always been interested in marine biology, so Marine biology Prof?Although I am keeping an open mind towards any possible opportunities in any interesting field, that may come my way.

Q: How did you get involved in research?
A: The first glimpse I got into anything professionally research related, was when I was in grade 11, I volunteered to work under Dr. Cote, as a part of a science co-op in high-school. There I worked with her graduate students, doing very basic tasks volunteering in their lab. However, this summer I hope to delve further into the world of marine research, as a diving assistant to a graduate student.

Q: What will you be working on this summer?
A: This summer I will be working as a marine research assistant diver with a graduate student ( Lilly Haines). The project I will be working for, focuses on fish behavior in a particular species. Essentially testing to see how far away across open sand a Damsel fish will swim to get home, before deciding it’s too dangerous. (Further details are still to be announced).

Q: What’s your favorite course you have taken so far in your degree?
A: So far I have really enjoyed BISC 101/102. I can’t choose between them, I loved learning about plant adaptations and their behavioral responses, as well as learning about community ecology and the beautifully complex interactions between each species.

Q: What scares you the most in the lab or the field?
A: I am afraid to get really sick, I have bad luck when it comes to getting colds, so I hope I leave that bad luck behind when I get to the Bahamas. However, I also fear dropping an oxygen tank on my toes, those are super heavy!

SFU Undergrad Researcher: Andy Zeng

Introducing Andy Zeng of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry!

Name: Andy Zeng
Major: Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Year of Study: Fourth
Supervisors: Angela Brooks Wilson (Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Agency and SFU BPK) and Benjamin Kwok (Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer, Université de Montreal)


Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: A clinician-scientist! I would ideally see cancer patients 1-2 days/week and spend the rest of my time running a cancer research lab to improve our standard of care. This fall, I’ll be entering the MD/PhD program at the University of Toronto for my first 8 years of training towards that career!

Q: How did you get involved in research?
A: In first year undergrad, I applied to a bunch of profs to do a summer undergraduate student research award (USRA) with them. Most profs didn’t take me seriously as a first year and didn’t respond, but Angie pretty much offered me a pity interview because it would make for a good learning opportunity. It turned out that I was the only applicant to read her papers before the interview and ask her semi-intelligent questions about it, and that’s how I got the USRA! I used that experience to land an internship in Montreal the following summer, and then finished my thesis in third year summer.

Q: What will you be working on this summer?
A: I’ll be spending the first half of my summer in Vancouver, brushing up on statistics and bioinformatics and learning the basics of machine learning through online courses (datacamp, coursera, EdX, etc). For the second half of my summer in Toronto, I’ll hopefully be getting involved in research on cancer stem cells and getting started on my PhD research.

Q: What have you been working on in your research so far? (What is your research about?)
A: In Angie’s lab at BC Cancer I analyzed the somatic mutational spectrums in mitochondrial DNA (yes, the powerhouse of the cell) of B-Cell Lymphoma patients. We wanted to see if any of these mutations, which affect cell metabolism, contributed to lymphomagenesis. In Ben’s lab at IRIC I designed and ran cell biology experiments testing chemical inhibitors of a cancer-promoting protein on cancer cells.

Q: What’s your favourite course that you have taken so far in your degree?
A: MBB426 & 427- The workload for 426 is soul crushing but you walk out of the courses knowing a mind-blowing amount of immunology! But to be honest, I believe that the most enriching learning experiences during undergrad comes from extracurriculars and research.

Q: Favourite science joke or meme from your field?
A: Haemolytic Memes for Anaemic Teens (Facebook Page) is a lot funnier than it should be. Every time I laugh, I’m reminded that I am a huge nerd who appreciates these memes a little too much. It’s odd – these memes somehow manage to make you both smarter and dumber at the same time.

Q: What scares you the most in the lab or the field?
A: Failure and negative results. It happened in my Montréal work term and it’s inevitable. But if you ask the right questions, understand the larger reason for why you are doing the work, and strive to enjoy the process (being open to learn and genuinely curious about what you’ll discover), then it minimizes the blow.

A quick word of advice for those embarking on a research term:
Your research term is not just a 9-5 job, it’s a learning opportunity that can be far more enriching than a semester of classes. Treat it as a learning opportunity: dive into the literature and put in the same amount of effort into your research as you would in a 5-course semester. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll grow, and you might even get some publications out of it!

SFU Undergrad Researcher: Stephanie Lam

Introducing Stephanie Lam of the Faculty of Health Sciences!

Name: Stephanie Lam
Major: Health Sciences
Year of Study: 3rd
Supervisor: Dr. Angela Devlin, UBC Faculty of Medicine


Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: Pediatrician

Q: How did you get involved in research?
A: I was particularly interested in medical research and I started to do my own research on areas of research within the faculty of medicine. Luckily, I came across many researchers located in CFRI that researched areas that were very interesting to me and I contacted Dr. Devlin to see if there is anything I could get involved with.

Q: What have you been working on in your research so far? (What is your research about?)
A: I am helping out with a human project that aims to understand cardiovascular outcomes that are affected by second-generation antipsychotic treatment. We are also trying to identify biomarkers that can be used to identify children who may be at risk for cardiometabolic side effects.

Q: What is a typical “day in the life” in the lab for you?
A: DNA/RNA extraction from blood cells, genotyping, blood processing, mouse work

Q: What scares you the most in the lab or the field?
A: The thing that scares me the most in the lab is making a small mistake that could cost the lab a lot of money and time. When working with such tiny amounts of samples, I am often scared that my lab technique is inadequate and won’t give the desired results. With the nature of this project, our samples are often very limited and must be used carefully.

SFU Undergrad Researcher: James Marquis

Next up in our series of brilliant SFU undergrads, we have James Marquis of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry!

Name: James Marquis
Major: Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Year of Study: 4th
Supervisor (PI): Dr. Dipankar Sen


Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: I always want to become a biochemist and an innovator who develops better products for not only scientists but also the general public.

Q: How did you get involved in research?
A: I was randomly browsing the SFU biology web page back in my first year here. I saw an advertisement for a research position to analyze avian blood sample. I was just curious what they are doing with bird blood, so I applied and got in. Then I have been working in different labs in both biology and MBB since then.

Q: What will you be working on this summer?
A: I will be writing a research proposal for a master project that develops new DNA aptamer that catalyze the ruthenium-catalyzed olefin metathesis. It is simply to screen for potential catalytic DNA that can facilitate large-sized ring closing reaction.

Q: What have you been working on in your research so far? (What is your research about?)
A: My first lab project was about quantifying red blood cells precursor in avian blood to predict the bird’s oxygen carrying capacity. Then I moved on to a side project that looked that the effect of male bird social behaviour (singing) on female birds breeding phenology and performance. Then I switched to a genetic/developmental biology lab to work on the Wnt/Wingless signaling in Drosophila (fruit flies) in my third year. Right now I am preparing to start my master degree studying the catalytic activity of DNA/RNA.

Q: What is a typical “day in the life” in the lab for you?
A: I’m usually in the lab around 9am doing lab work till 5pm in the evening, nothing exciting.

Q: What’s your favourite course that you have taken so far in your degree?
A: I would the special topic course (MBB420) taught by Dr. Sen / Dr. Hawkins

Q: If you were a scientific lab instrument, which one would you be?
A: I would be a pipet, because I am a sucker for science.

Q: Who is your biggest science crush?
A: Dr. Peter Schultz. I was very privileged to meet him in person at a conference and he really inspired me to pursue my interest in the biochemistry field.

Q: What’s the funniest thing in the lab that’s happened to you?
A: We dressed up as Christmas trees and worked in the lab during the holiday season one winter, and it was quite funny and memorable.

Q: What scares you the most in the lab or the field?
A: Getting no data from my experiments