HomepageBiologyHonors Spotlight Star: Jack Thompson

Honors Spotlight Star: Jack Thompson

Under the mentorship of Dr. Stephen Kolwicz, Jack Thompson completed his Honors project titled, “The Effect of Acute Exercise on Insulin Sensitivity and Metabolic Gene Expression in Male and Female Mice.”

1. Who’s lab are you in?

I am in Dr. Kolwiczs’ Heart and Muscle Metabolism (HaMM) lab

2. What is the title of your research?

The Effect of Acute Exercise on Insulin Sensitivity and Metabolic Gene Expression in Male and Female Mice

3. Give a brief summary of your research.

For my research, I am studying how acute exercise impacts the duration of insulin sensitivity, as well as gene expression, in male and female mice. For this, we exercise the mice on treadmills, perform blood glucose test, and evaluate gene expression of mice following acute exercise. The goal of this study is to better understand the duration of insulin sensitivity after acute exercise. In addition to insulin sensitivity, we wanted to better understand how long genes in key metabolic pathways will be upregulated for following one bout of exercise.

4. What was your motive for joining a research lab?

I really wanted research experience that was also hands on, and this lab gave me the best of both worlds. I had the ability to develop important lab skills, while still being able to work with mice. Although I am not a health sciences major, exercise metabolism sounded very interesting to me and so I felt that this lab would be a good fit.

5. How has participating in research affected your college experience?

I believe research has not only enhanced my laboratory skills but has also allowed me to better understand the importance of research in medicine. I now have a greater appreciation for research and the amazing opportunities research can lead to.

6. What has been the highlight of your research?

The highlight of my research was being able to overcome difficulties such as PCR. Furthermore, working with great people in the lab and a great lab professor in Dr. Kolwicz has truly my research a memorable experience.

7. What are your future plans for after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to take a gap year to study and take my MCAT, as well as gain more clinical experience before applying to medical school.

8. Any words of wisdom for perspective future researchers?

I would advise future students to keep an open mind and try to learn as much as possible. The research experience at Ursinus College is unique for a school its size and you have the ability to learn a lot.

9. Are there any fellow researchers or mentors you would like to thank?

I would like to thank Erika Locke who has been in the HaMM lab since I joined in 2022. She is a much better researcher than myself and has helped me to learn and gain confidence in the lab. She really enhanced my research experience at Ursinus. Additionally, I’d like to thank Dr. Kolwicz for working harder than most and always being there to help myself and others through any difficult project.

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