Saturday, July 8, 2017

Florianópolis, BR: Lab Work

Hi all,
To update and give more information regarding my work in the lab, it has been going very well! I have overcome my fear of working with the lab rats and they are now my little friends. I mentioned before that I am working in the department of pharmacology with Dr. Linder (super nice)! Prior to coming into this lab, I had no experience or prior knowledge about this subject of study, but now I find it very interesting! Dr. Linder’s research surrounds exploring selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and the positive and negative side effects associated with taking them. We are currently exploring the negative side effect that an SSRI, such as a commercial antidepressant drug, along with induction of endotoxins in the blood may have on blood pressure. We expect to observe hypotension in the rats as well as symptoms of sepsis disease. I am conducting this experiment completely by myself (Dr. Linder assists when needed)! At first, I was very anxious and nervous! Now, I have become a lot more confident in completing the tasks associated with the experiment: such as preparing and taking the rats’ blood pressures. My experiment will last for a total of 3 weeks with 3 different groups of rats. The first day of the experiment is the hardest & longest! I have to be up and to the lab by 7:00AM to begin setting up to take pressures by 8:00AM, and then the last pressure measurement is at 9:30 PM!! I just finished my first week of experimentation and it has been a long week! Now, I’m up to do it again for the next two weeks and get all the data knocked out! This summer has been such a learning experience thus far. I would have never imagined that I would be doing something of this caliber by myself and actually feeling comfortable in it. I know that this work now is preparing me for my future career as a doctor. Look out optometry school, Dr. Winter is in the making!

-Winter B.

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