Yeah, of course. So I’m currently a junior at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina and I’m double majoring in biology with a concentration in anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics and evolutionary anthropology with a concentration in behavior, ecology, and cognition with a chemistry minor. My first couple of years here I worked with a couple of different research teams before finding my passion this past summer.
As you mentioned, I’m currently involved in two distinctive research avenues here at Duke. First, I’m working at the renowned Duke Lemur Center where we’re recording social observations in the captive lemurs, with the ultimate goal of generating a large database with all of these observations that researchers and people can use and access.
I’m also working with PhD students here in the biomedical engineering department at the Center for Women’s Global Health Technologies where I’m involved in a couple of different projects. The first project we’re analyzing is how triple-negative breast cancer, or TNBC, in mice and swines is affected by ethyl cellulose ethanol ablation; a modified version of ethanol ablation which is a known method of destroying tumors. We’re currently in the process of submitting a study called “Determining the relationship of delivery parameters in ablation distribution for novel gel ethanol percutaneous therapy and XDO spine liver” for publication, which is super exciting.
The other projects that I’ve been working on monitor and compare tumor volumes of untreated and treated triple negative breast cancer mice to determine recurrence, and aid in optical imaging to study vulnerabilities of chemo-resistant tumors. Through both of these projects, I have been able to work in close contact with PhD candidates which has been super awesome, working with them and hearing all they have to say. I’ve also been able to master a wide variety of different skills and certifications including retro orbital injections, IP cavity injections, window surgeries, necropsies, IACUC certification. So I am basically able to handle mice, mark their tails, monitor their tumors, use different types of microscopes, prep and load sets for pathology analysis, prepare drugs using needles and pipettes, and utilize a wide variety of different softwares like matlab, Microsoft Excel, and JMP to do statistical analysis and create graphs.
“Another big thing that I’ve been able to do here is work with younger researchers. This past weekend we were able to work in a lab with some elementary students around the local Durham community and walk them through some scientific experiments, which has also been really rewarding for me.”