Over the course of this fellowship, I have gained a new found appreciation for the collaborative nature of research. Throughout the summer, I have found myself collaborating with, learning from, and aiding the members of my laboratory to further develop my own project as well as assist in the ongoing work of others in lab. In this sense, I really enjoy the teamwork aspect of research. Every individual has their own unique perspective on a biological phenomena and by bouncing off ideas, it allows me to develop a stronger understanding of both my work and future scientific questions I may choose to pose in the future. I have learned and will continue to learn numerous techniques from my experience in this fellowship such as immunohistochemistry (IHC), microscopy, behavioral testing, and cannula implantation surgeries. Most importantly, I have gained an appreciation for the importance of designing a good experiment as a well designed experiment ensure that no matter the result, valuable information can be obtained to contribute to the scientific body of knowledge.
The most valuable part of my HSFR experience has been the opportunity it has provided me to interact with both peers and established scientists in and around my field of interest. I focus on studying pain from the standpoint of behavioral pharmacology, however I have learned a lot from my peers and scientists I have met who focus on immunology as they have allowed me to develop hypotheses on which immune cells may play a role in the inflammatory responses that evoke pain in my study of endometrial pain. In the future I hope to further investigate the immune mechanisms that contribute to this pain.
Now that the fellowship is over, I hope you continue my research, further investigating the mechanisms related to the development of chronic pain in endometriosis, and develop my project even further in hopes of pursuing a BPhil through the Fredrick Honors College.
Professionally, I currently am on the pre-med track, therefore I will continue to gain exposure to patients in the clinical setting to develop my interpersonal skills by interacting with patients as well as gaining an exposure to the systems of healthcare and the role of physicians in this process. Throughout the summer, I have found that my experience in the clinical setting along with my work in the lab have served to complement each other. My work in lab allows me to better understand the biologics of what chronic pain patients experience, while my exposure to these patients give me new ideas of research areas to focus on when trying to alleviate pain in mice that model the pain conditions in patients.
Overall, I am excited to see where my research takes me.