Over the summer as part of the FUTURE program, I worked in the Neuroscience lab with Dr. Carlita Favero, and my FUTURE mentor Kyle Minnick. We researched how prenatal alcohol intake affects the brain of a fetus, looking at the moderate end of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, or FASD. Specifically, I studied how alcohol would affect Pax6 development in the fetal brain. Pax6 is used to help axons, a part of the nerve cell that sends messages from the cell body to other cells, move from one area of the brain to next in order to develop sensory and motor functions. Studying this would help us better understand the effects of alcohol on a developing brain.
What was Valuable About the Experience
What was most valuable was getting to know faculty members and students of Ursinus College that were able to give me tips on how to make my first year at UC the most successful. Also, conducting research, and learning new topics were experiences I cannot forget.
The Coolest Part of the Experience
The coolest part was definitely the dissections! As a Neuroscience major, hands on experience with a brain is always exciting. Looking at the small brains under a microscope and then using the different high-tech equipment to get the information we needed was so fascinating!
Who I met that made a Difference
Dr. Carlita Favero, my faculty mentor, as well as Kyle Minnick, my student mentor, were able to enhance my experience by teaching me everything I needed to know. They both guided me through the research process, how to carry out procedures in the laboratory, as well as gave me tips for the school year. The FUTURE staff and students were also people that helped make a difference, as over the course of the FUTURE program, we were able to become a community.
Scholars In Service, SUN, MAPS