I cannot believe all 13 weeks of TRIP are already over! I’ve had so much fun, and it flew by so fast. If it weren’t for the multiple pages of Excel sheets from the Negative Geotaxis Assay, Centrophobism Assay, and Development Data, I wouldn’t believe you if you told me I had been working on my independent project for 6 TRIP sessions. I’ve experienced so much working in the lab, such as generating a hypothesis, designing my own experiment, learning lab techniques, analyzing data, and problem solving. It all has molded me into a better critical thinker and has allowed me to learn how to overcome failure. Learning how to do some of the assays at first was challenging, and learning how to manage my time fitting all so many assays in at once was even harder. Some of my first results were inconsistent because of some difficulties with the assay, but we can’t let the challenges in life obstruct us in our path to success. I had to consider different ways to do some things more efficiently, and cut out some parts that contributed the least but took out the most time. After modifying the experiment multiple times, I was pleased with my results.
The Paraquat that simulated Parkinson’s symptom of slowness had flies that were significantly less mobile than the control, as measured by the negative geotaxis assay. This assay quantified how active flies were by evaluating what percent climbed more than half the vial 3 seconds after being knocked to the bottom. Certain doses of Vitamin B6 increased the mobility in both the control and Paraquat-treated flies; if it is too low a dose the mobility doesn’t increase enough, while too high a dose decreased rather than increased the mobility. Finding the golden middle ground between the two was also an obstacle I had to overcome. My overall conclusion is conditional, that the Vitamin B6 will help treat Drug-Induced Parkinsonism at a certain magnitude, but it did not cure the slow effects and symptoms completely. Doing all my own experiments and analyzing this data was all so exciting, and it really gave me autonomy in how to move proceed with each step.
I would definitely recommend applying for TRIP because of how valuable all the experiences are and because of how much you learn from being in a lab. The faculty and peers are great, friendly, and supportive. If you are interested in research, science, or just considering STEM in general, I strongly advise you to take part in this program to help affirm your goals and passions. The most important lesson I learned from TRIP is how to overcome failure, which is incredibly useful everywhere, and can only be learned through experience. I have had a great time in this program, and I will never forget my time here and will be forever grateful for all that TRIP has taught me. Thank you for everything Dr. Purdy and the whole team at TRIP!