Mary Gates Research Scholar, Winter 2021
Project Description: Ischemic preconditioning (IPC) is an experimental phenomenon thought to induce neuronal and axonal protection in the brain, promoting tolerance to subsequent ischemic exposure. The project I am working on focuses on quantifying properties of the nodes of Ranvier to measure levels of axonal protection conferred via IPC.
What have you learned throughout your research project?
I’ve learned so much about the science that underlies my research project (stroke and the inflammatory response of the brain). However, I’ve gotten to a lot more out of my experience than knowledge. By attending Neurology department meetings, I’ve learned a lot about the different topics that are being studied in the department, and working with my PI as well as the postdoc in my lab have given me a lot of insight not only as to what a career in research looks like, but also a valuable opportunity to establish a mentor-mentee relationship with them. Presenting my research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium last spring was super rewarding, and it was cool to have a tangible milestone that measured how much progress I had made throughout my involvement with my project. Overall, by being a Mary Gates scholar, I felt more motivated to engage in my research and also had more time to do so.
What piece of advice do you have for future applicants?
If anyone is considering whether or not to apply for this scholarship, I would definitely recommend them to do so. I appreciated all the events that were held for Mary Gates Scholars to foster community and learned a lot from participating in the URS. I personally was not able to participate in all the community events, but would really recommend future scholars to take advantage of those sessions, especially as more events start occurring in person.