With the conclusion of my three-month adventure inside the TRIP lab imminent, I can’t help but be amazed by the amazing things my fellow TRIP researchers and I have accomplished alongside Dr. Purdy and Dr. Leystra. Throughout these last three months, TRIP has been an invaluable experience that has allowed me to take the first step into my future profession.
My independent project focused on exploring the cognitive impacts of overdoses of addictive amphetamines like Adderall. I wanted to explore how these stimulants affect cognitive function and if they have any long-term impacts on the brain. To investigate this, I used the Larval Memory Assay. As I conducted my experiments, I discovered countless unexpected challenges that came along with researching this topic. The process was tedious (especially training all the flies), and at times it felt like I was never going to get accurate results. However, I was determined to see it through to the end and obtain some real results.Through it all, I learned a lot about the scientific method, data analysis, as well as collaboration. I also developed a better understanding of the ethical implications of researching drugs and the responsibility that comes with conducting studies dealing with addictive substances.
Although my journey in the TRIP lab is coming to an end, the knowledge and experiences during TRIP will stay with me for a lifetime. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have explored such an important and interesting topic and for the guidance and support of Dr. Leystra, Dr. Purdy, and my fellow researchers.After all is said and done, my TRIP has been an experience like no other and I will cherish the times I spent in the lab for the rest of my life!