"During the summer of 2018, I worked at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) as a part of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program under the mentorship of Dr. Akiva S. Cohen. While working with Dr. Cohen, I learned new techniques and how to use new machinery with which I was not familiar prior to working in his traumatic brain injury (TBI) lab. I worked on a couple projects and did laboratory tasks such as performing Polymerase Chain Reactions (PCRs), making artificial cerebrospinal fluid, and using a vibratome to cut mouse brain slices. The main project I worked on was cell counting. We wanted to find out if there are fewer parvalbumin (PV) neurons in the hippocampus after a TBI. Therefore, most of my time was spent mounting and looking at brain slices through a confocal microscope.
I am a rising senior at Lincoln University majoring in Biology and Neuroscience. The techniques and skills I have acquired while working with the CIRP team really helped me figure out my next steps. I am currently studying for the Graduate Record Examinations (GREs) in order to apply to Neuroscience PhD programs. My time during the summer was not only spent working; all of the REU and CIRP interns really enjoyed hanging out with each other and taking numerous trips within and around the city of Philadelphia. Working with CIRP was amazing and it made my summer truly unforgettable."