CURF – Intro

Hi! My name is Priyal and I am excited to take you through my experience as a Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship recipient. To start off, I would like to introduce myself. I am currently a sophomore majoring in Neuroscience, minoring in Chemistry, and pursuing an American Sign Language certificate. I am also on the pre-med track. Outside of academics, I am an Indian classical dancer and am working towards a bachelor’s degree in classical dance as well!

For this research fellowship I am working with Dr. Anthony Kline in his preclinical traumatic brain injury (TBI) laboratory in the department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research. This fall semester, I am conducting a study evaluating the efficacy of the drug Amantadine as a rehabilitation method post traumatic brain injury. Amantadine has been shown to improve symptoms that are related to lack of balance, involuntary movement, and lack of coordination. Similar cognitive and motor deficits are present in patients after suffering from a TBI. Patients have difficulty with balance, coordinating movements, and are easily fatigued after exercise. The clinical relevance of this research strives to gauge whether Amantadine can help restore cognitive and motor functions to pre-injury levels. This is will allow patients who have recovered from TBIs to have a similar quality of life as they did prior to sustaining the injury. My responsibilities in the lab include conducting the motor and cognitive tests to collect data on the effectiveness of amantadine. This semester I am learning to administer the drug intraperitoneally. I am excited to learn and add this new skill to my research skill set!

After graduation, I intend to get an MD and I am also considering going down the MD/PhD path to better incorporate the research aspect of medicine into a career as a physician. As a Neuroscience major, working in Dr. Kline’s lab is very interesting because I get to see practical, and more relevant applications of ideas and concepts that I learn in the classroom. The CRUF further allows and motivates me to explore and develop my skills as an undergraduate researcher directly through working in Dr. Kline’s Lab. I am very grateful for the opportunity provided to me through the fellowship to engage and learn about research being conducted in various different fields, as well as having a platform provided to me to share my own experiences and learnings!

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