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My Journey to Creating Human Organs
This post is part of a series of blog posts written by incoming and second-year graduate students in the Early Graduate Fellowship Mentoring Program. Students were asked to provide a brief description of their research interests and how they came to those interests.
My desire to work in a medically related research laboratory was first sparked during the summer of my senior year in high school. I was selected to be a part of the Partnership For Research in Materials at the University that I would eventually attend for my bachelors in Chemistry. I had the opportunity to work in a nanomaterials lab and received an introduction into the synthesis of silver and gold nanoparticles. Although my summer project was rudimentary i though that it was interesting how nanomaterials could be used in a wide array of research projects. Dueing the first two years of my undergraduate career I worked in an analytical and photochemistry laboratory that was focused in using photoresponsive materials for targeted breast cancer treatment. My mentor encouraged me to work in a variety of research labs to see what I would eventually like to do so each summer I applied for a different research area. The summer of my sophomore year in college I worked in a REU polymer science laboratory at the University of Southern Miss looking at the properties of ionic liquids when exposed to various chemicals. The summer of my junior year I was a part of the RISE program at UCSB where I improved upon the percent yield of chemicals that could be potentially used in solar panels. The summer of my senior year I worked in an immunology laboratory at Johns Hopkins exploring the applications of a new instrument that would make the ELISA process more efficient in analyzing patients with Celiac disease. I spent my last two years of college in a biochemistry laboratory looking at the toxicity of different nanoparticle coating materials on skin and lung cells. I eventually went on to attend Meharry Medical College in Nashville where I finished my basic science coursework of the human body. During the gap between my first and second year of medical school I had the opportunity to work in a Clinical Neuroscience Research Lab where we made 3D models of the brain for targeted neuronal stimulation. I was in my third year of clinical rotations when I realized that I would like to explore the applications of Biomedical Engineering for tissue Regeneration because I felt that I would be able to impact a broader range of individuals through my work. I would like to understand how stem cells function and the process of organogenesis.