Cam Donahue is a wonderful lab member. He has a knack for troubleshooting, volunteers a large portion of his time every week to lab work, and always comes to lab ready to work hard and get things done.
In his three years in the Vazey lab, Cam has seen an honors thesis project through from beginning to end. We are currently preparing a comprehensive paper detailing his hard work, on which he will be an author. He has completed all of his work autonomously, as the first in the lab to run such an experiment.
Cam has developed many versatile lab skills from animal behavior to immunohistochemistry. He has run complex operant behavior tests on rats, sliced brain tissue on a cryostat, put tissue on slides, stained tissue both on and off slides, taken high quality images on an epi-fluorescent microscope, analyzed data using software from imageJ to Prism, and presented the data that he collected. Along the way, he has written numerous detailed protocols for the lab so that we can (with sadness) continue his work after he graduates. His organization skills are top notch, and even researchers uninvolved in his research can always clearly follow his data collection and analysis. Cam’s work in each of these specific areas is high quality.
Cam asks questions when he is unsure of the reason behind an analysis or experiment. His eye for detail helps him to ask small questions before they become big points of confusion. Cam is organized and punctual. He also handles the ups and downs of experimentation very well. When a new technique takes years to get up and running, Cam is unfazed. He is willing to help out in any way he can. Even during the pandemic, Cam has been a great communicator and productive lab member, completing heaps of new analyses every week.
Cam gets along with everyone in lab and does not make waves. I am confident that Cam will be an asset to any work environment due to his easy-going nature and excellent work ethic. We will feel his absence from the lab when he graduates and are sad to see him go despite our excitement for his very bright future.
-Emma Dauster (Mentor in the Vazey lab, UMass Amherst)