This summer, I decided to continue working on the research I was conducting during the school year at the University of Michigan. I am currently working with the Lundy Lab and investigating the killing potential of FasL and granzyme B on T helper 2 cells, which are responsible for inflammation symptoms in allergic asthma. Currently, main treatments for asthma only reduce symptoms; therefore, by regulating these T helper 2 cells through apoptosis, it may allow for possible future therapeutic treatments that induce tolerance towards allergens.
In the lab, there is a wide variety of things I do. Some days I help with cell cultures, while other days I may work with mice. I also conduct bead capture assays and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to quantify the expression of FasL and granzyme B after different stimulations. However, there are some days I just analyze data from the experiments. Even though calculating numbers and making graphs are not the most exciting tasks, they are essential, because they are ways to communicate your findings to the rest of the scientific world.
Working in the lab in the summer is much different than working during the school year. There are a lot of more expectations now, because with more hours worked, the lab expects you to be more knowledgable and skilled. Nevertheless, I chose to pursue this opportunity, because it helps me further my future goal of becoming a doctor. However, not only do I want to practice medicine, but I also want to be able to conduct clinical research on the side to find new or better treatments to diseases or conditions that may affect how we live our lives. Working in a research lab during my undergrad years will allow me to obtain the necessary skill set for success in the future by preparing me for the challenges and responsibilities that come with the job.