In graduate school I learned about a new class of small RNAs derived from tRNAs known as tRFs. I was told that working on them would be risky and that there weren't other people working on them. After looking through the literature I decided the best approach would be to look at PAR-CLIP and CLASH data to investigate if they had similar properties to miRNAs. I taught myself how to use the university's computing cluster and how to download and analyze sequencing data. My results led to a F31 grant and publication in my first year in graduate school.