Data Wrap-Up and Moving Forward

Wow, what an experience this summer was for me and my research! I couldn’t be more happy with the data and progress I was able to collect in the amount of time I had. Regrettably, I do not have enough data to be completely satisfied, but on the bright side, it just leaves me more experience in the lab ahead. Undoubtedly, my exposure and time spent on the 3rd floor of the ISC has prepared me for future endeavors in the scientific field. There is, of course, much more to learn and more to research but at least I got my feet wet with a full-time workday in the lab.

As far as wrapping up my summer data, I believe we are on the right track. Dr. Buchser is currently assisting me with running an analysis on the FITC exposed axons, some of which were axotomized and others that were left unharmed as controls. We are working on creating figures showing DI fits and calcium intensity over time. The initial results look promising but I believe we need to fine tune and double check the data to determine how best to present it in our paper. Fortunately, early stages show that there is a positive correlation with calcium intensity over time in cut axons compared to the control. Both intensities increase over time but the cut axons spike more significantly. In the future, I want to provide a more conclusive difference between the cut and un-cut axons. I believe the best way to do this is to really nail our dosages of EDTA (our chelator) and Fluo-4 (specifically, providing it with the proper loading time). These steps, combined with the maintenance of a healthy media for our neurons will hopefully provide more conclusive results. I am, however, extremely pleased with how much progress has been made in the fields of overall lab technique, NIS-software practice, confocal training, dissection technique, and media control. These steps forward, combined with a whole two years ahead of me, leaves an optimistic touch on my research project going forward. I had an incomparably knowledgeable and special summer at William & Mary and hope to be back next summer to do it all over again!