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Student Spotlight: Alex Lovely

Why did you choose to attend Northeastern?

I chose to attend Northeastern predominantly because of my familiarity with the campus and the research environment that is present at the university. I had previous experiences with the faculty and knew that the environment within the Biology department was one that I felt I could do well in. Also, my current PI, James Monaghan, was working on some research that I found very interesting.

What other organizations or activities are you involved with outside of your degree program?

I am a member of the biology graduate student association and have been for two years. In my first year I acted as the treasurer and I am now the vice president.

What is your favorite part about Northeastern?

The new tea robot in Curry Student Center. There is also the brand-new Imaging institute that has been established on campus, which I am very interested in with regards to my research as well as my personal interests in microscopy.

What is your favorite part of Boston?

My favorite part of Boston is the Harbor district. It is nice any time of year, although it can be chilly in the winter. Faneuil hall and the New England Aquarium are in the area, and for anyone coming to visit Boston, these are two must see places.

What is the best perk of being a Northeastern student?

The networking opportunities afforded to Northeastern students. Due to the universities connections throughout the city as well as the world, there are a lot of opportunities for students to get a jumpstart in any industry or area of interest that they have. The university being in Boston is also a huge advantage, especially for those interested in the engineering and biomedical fields.

What advice would you give to an incoming graduate student?

Go out and explore the city, there is a lot to see and it’s always good to take a break from work. Take advantage of the unique opportunities that Boston has to offer, whether conferences or meetings in the city, or reaching out to others here who are a part of work that you are interested in. It is never too early to build up a strong network.

What are your plans after degree completion?

I have no concrete plans yet, but I could see myself continuing research in an industrial setting. Also, lately my interests in microscopy have had me thinking about working in or managing a microscope core facility at a university or other institution.

Please tell us about your research

I study limb regeneration in salamanders, specifically the Mexican axolotl. My project investigates the role of the skin during regeneration and what genes are being expressed in different populations of cells throughout the skin. We know that the skin is required for regeneration to occur, but its exact function in the process has yet to be fully understood.

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