HSRF: My Cohort

After a few weeks into the Health Sciences Research Fellowship, I am interested in the diverse projects undertaken by my peers. While my own research primarily focuses on studying signaling in CD4+ T cells, I was unfamiliar with the projects others were engaged in, particularly in neuroscience and other health-related fields. It has been fascinating to learn about their methodologies, project objectives, and anticipated outcomes. I hope to gain deeper insights into their respective disciplines and the paths they are choosing to take after their undergraduate studies.

I observed both similarities and differences among the various projects. For instance, one of my peers, Gnanesh, is studying underlying mechanisms for senescent neurons that have experienced DNA damage under Alzheimer’s. Although he is studying in a different field, I noticed the subtle similarities behind our projects. Both of us are researching mostly unknown mechanisms behind neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. Moreover, we employ mouse models to investigate these respective diseases. However, there are differences in most of the methods where he is using morphometry and immunohistochemistry to visualize this process.

Another fascinating project in neuroscience is Daksh’s research on the mechanisms governing neural circuit connections. He explained to me how this process contributes to long-term potentiation and that abnormalities can lead to neurodegenerative diseases. By understanding what processes regulate the connections, he is excited about the potential it has for developing novel treatments. Again, I found parallels in how we are both exploring signaling mechanisms, However, he is using live imaging software to monitor neuronal slice culture which I did not know was even possible. His project is especially interesting to me because it seems to be at the forefront of new technology and pushes what we understand about the long-term consequences of these molecular mechanisms.

Collaborating with individuals from diverse disciplines introduces a multitude of new possibilities and ideas. Engaging in discussions with my peers has broadened my perspective on the interconnectedness within the field of health sciences. Whether it be through the methods we use or similarities in our goals, understanding each other’s research can inspire new ideas in our own fields and uncover areas where working together could advance both projects. I look forward to continue learning about my peers’ experiences in lab and new ideas.

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