I am an undergraduate researcher at the Brody School of Medicine. I first started in the field of research in high school observing my mentors. One mentor I observed in high school focused on the mitochondrial physiology of cardiomyocytes, while the other mentor focused on the therapeutic effects of human mesenchymal stem cells in hearts. When I first started, I knew almost nothing about any of these subjects. What little information I did know was from the biology classes I took in high school. I did not know any of the techniques used to do research, but I learned.
I formed great relationships with my two mentors and the people in their labs over time. I literally began to absorb knowledge from my mentors like a sponge, learning how to do some of the techniques by observing. My mentors showed me how to apply scientific theory through their research. I learned how important the mitochondria in heart muscle cells were for life and the energy they provided to each individual heart muscle cell for the entire heart to beat. I also learned the potential of stem cells of how they can differentiate into heart cells to replace dead heart cells after a heart attack to restore the heart’s function back to normal.