Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good

  • Susana Zelaya Rivera headshot

Susana Zelaya Rivera

2015 FUTURE Student

After Ursinus, I hope to go to Medical School and become a surgeon. After a few years of residency I hope to go back to school and get my PhD in Biology. During my summer FUTURE research I studied how microglial cells in axolotls and urodeles impact spinal cord regeneration. This research helped me at UC because it allowed me to develop lab skills, as well as get acquainted with the professors that I eventually I will work with during my four years. The research program also allowed me to network with other science students and build connections, that as a first-generation college student I benefited greatly. 

My Major / Minor / Campus Organizations

Major in Biology and Spanish

My Research

This summer I worked with Dr. Dawley and my mentor, Meghan Later. For 4 weeks of FUTURE summer research I spent cutting paraffin to make slides of urodeles and axolotls to find microglial cells. In my research the main purpose was to find microglial cells in order to map out spinal cord regeneration in these specific species. During the 4 weeks I spent my time reading scientific journals to properly understand why spinal cord regeneration happens and different findings on the function of microglial cells in axolotls and urodeles. I plan to continue my research this fall 2015 semester to find microglial cells and begin other staining/embedding procedures.

Life After Ursinus

As the first in my family to go to college the FUTURE program allowed me to develop lab skills and passion for science. The FUTURE summer research program prepared me to transition well into my science classes. Overall the program really allowed me to grow in and out of the lab because of all the professors and mentors that helped.