- A. Biology, Chemistry Minor, University of Maine at Presque Isle, 2016
I got my first taste of research my senior year of undergraduate studies by being employed as a student researcher at Aroostook Farms, a research farm run by the University of Maine. I got the opportunity to aid in both the Plant Soils and Plant Genetics Departments, where I gained a variety of different lab and field work skills. I discovered my love of research there, and I decided that the next step would be to transition to biomedical research. I am very lucky to have discovered a program as great as GSBSE that was also in my home state. As I am wrapping up my third rotation in my first year of the program, I have seen how I’ve grown as a researcher from the beginning of the fall semester in 2017 to now and I am excited to continue to grow as a researcher through this program.
Kristy Townsend Rotation During my rotation in the Townsend Lab, I was in charge of a couple of projects on my own, as well as aiding in a couple of fellow lab member’s projects as well. One of my main projects focused on studying a possible treatment for diabetic neuropathy, with the hopes that the treatment we were studying could help regenerate dead nerves that were damaged due to type II diabetes using a mouse model. My second project consisted of studying the effects of different saturated/unsaturated diets on leakage of the Blood Brain Barrier in mice. Both of these projects, as well as the other projects that I got to help with, helped me gain a very diverse set of research skills that can be used in my future projects.
Melody Neely Rotation During my rotation in the Neely Lab, I was introduced to zebrafish as a model organism. My main project focused on studying the effects of a systemic infection of different Streptococcus strains on the immune system of young zebrafish post injection through the Duct of Cuvier. Through this project I was introduced to planning my own experiments, optimizing protocols, and fluorescence microscopy.
Greg Cox Rotation During this rotation I was involved in multiple projects. My main project was focusing on administering a potential treatment to mice with and without rostrocaudal muscular dystrophy through administering the compound to the diet of the mothers of the mice. I also gained experience with working with microscopes, making my own slides, genotyping, and analyzing data sets. I also gained many mouse handling skills through this rotation.