"From my experience as a University Scholar, I hope to gain invaluable knowledge not only from behavioral and benchwork techniques, but also from working in a scientific research environment. I will be applying to medical school through the year and I am excited that my research project pertains to my career goals. Scientific research is an integral part of the medical field, and I believe it will contribute greatly to my goal of becoming a physician."
I am primarily interested in Biology and research pertaining to the fields of biology and medicine. I am interested in research that has translational value to human medical cases. In addition to biology, I am also interested in the field of Anthropology and have spent many of my breaks from school traveling abroad.
Academic and Other Awards
- University Scholars Program Scholarship (2011-2012)
- Anderson Scholar of Highest Distinction (2010)
- Alpha Epsilon Delta
- Alpha Zeta Honor Society
Through Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) and Alpha Zeta, I am involved in many different community service projects and medically-related volunteer work. Through AED I am involved with the Boys and Girls Club, Noah's Endeavor Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation, Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, and Child Advocacy Center. Through Alpha Zeta, I have volunteered with St. Francis House and have done multiple fundraising and road cleanup projects for the community.
Hobbies and Interests
- Medical mission trips, rowing, running, and reading.
Investigating the Effects of a Combinatorial Treatment on Functional Recovery Post-Spinal Cord Injury
There is no current cure for spinal cord injury. Various areas of research concerning spinal cord injury (SCI) recovery are normally focused on either molecular effects or physical therapy. However, it is generally accepted that the most effective approaches will involve a combinatorial treatment approach. Both constraint induced movement therapy post-stroke and locomotor training post-spinal cord injury show that training post-CNS injury can enhance motor recovery. Thus, I am interested in studying the effects of combining a task-specific training approach with a molecular therapy. The overall research project I will be working on is to investigate the effects of training on endogenous mechanisms of plasticity, recovery and repair post-spinal cord injury. The project will examine the importance of task specific training using an experimental asymmetrical spinal cord injury model which is similar to the clinical Brown Sequard's Syndrome. The training approach will be combined with a molecular treatment approach which is another focus of the laboratory I have volunteered in, specifically the effects of intraspinally delivered Chondroitinase ABC (Ch'ase). It is critical to determine what, if any, relationship exists between the level of recovery seen with Ch'ase-alone and Ch'ase coupled with different training approaches. A number of behavioral analyses will be used to assess functional outcomes. Specifically, inter-limb coordination analyses will be done to assess the impact of training upon spinal circuitry as this coordination is dependent upon the long propriospinal system which connects the cervical and lumbar enlargements important for fore- and hind-limb movements. The analyses I have chosen have particular translational value, as similar measures are used in humans. For example, fore-hindlimb coordination parallels the coordination of arm swing with leg movements. My choices will give the studies greater translational relevance.