Julia Bittencourt

Organization: University of Florida

Position Title: Undergraduate Researcher

I am a senior at the University of Florida. I learned about the BACE credential through the Biotechnology Academy at Spanish River High School, and earned the credential in my senior year of high school. I have now been working in a developmental biology lab at UF since my freshman year of college.
Earning the BACE credential gave me an advantage in my initial stages of both looking for a lab as well as working in a lab. I already had a basic understanding of many lab techniques (both how to conduct these techniques as well as what they do/why we use them), and that made me a better candidate for undergraduate research positions. I think the aspect of my academic/career path that the BACE credential most helped me with was simply learning about opportunities in the Biotech field. Before joining the Biotechnology Academy and earning the BACE credential, I hadn't heard much about biotechnology in general. Earning the BACE opened new doors in terms of the potential opportunities I was thinking about for my future. If it weren't for BACE, I don't think I would've even known that I could conduct research as a freshman undergraduate.
I am currently working on creating a developmental atlas by utilizing nanoCT data. This project involves collecting specimens, contrast-staining the specimens, CT scanning them, and virtually segmenting out the organs of these specimens. Most of my time nowadays is spent conducting virtual analysis of the specimen segmentations. I am soon going to start analyzing single-cell RNA sequencing data for another project, so my days will soon also involve analyzing RNA sequencing data through bioinformatics techniques.
The thing I like most about my job is how we're using cutting-edge techniques to provide important information for the world. I feel like I'm an integral part of my team, even as an undergraduate.

Biotility at the University of Florida is committed to providing high-quality education and training to facilitate the professional growth of each participant. Our short-courses are attended by professionals, students preparing to enter industry careers, and researchers, all of whom seek to expand and deepen their knowledge in technical and regulatory details unique to biotechnology industries and translational research.