For the last two years, I have been working in Dr. Stacey Harper’s laboratory researching the adverse effects of dendrimers. Dendrimers are well-defined, polymeric nanomaterials that are currently being investigated for biomedical applications like medical imaging, gene therapy, and tissue-targeted therapy. The project I have been working on examines the toxicity of twelve dendrimers. This wide array of dendrimers allows my mentor and me to look for structure-activity relationships. These relationships are then used in lieu of empirical data to predict nanomaterial hazards.
Designed as my honors thesis, this project will provide my mentor and me the opportunity to publish timely work regarding the biological aspects of nanotoxicology. The Honors Experience Scholarship has allowed me to further invest time into research, which, in turn, has immensely helped me in my classes and my pursuit of medicine as a future career. The integrated, multi-disciplinary team environment in the Harper nanotoxicology laboratory and the unique mixture of toxicology, biology, public health, pharmacy, and engineering students who work there has provided me with an appreciation for disciplinary diversity and has highlighted the importance of effective scientific communication.
In the future, I plan to graduate with an Honors Bachelor of Science in biology with minors in both chemistry and toxicology. Following graduation, I plan to attend medical school and work towards obtaining an MD or an MD/PhD.
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