Loyola Junior Aaron Earley Reflects on Summer Research Program at Stritch
Aaron Earley took the time to share his experiences through Stritch School of Medicine's summer research program in Microbiology and Immunology, and how it has influenced his education and research career. Here's what he had to say.
I worked at the Microbiology/ Immunology department in Dr. Knight's lab where I assisted a 3rd year PhD student, who is researching how the innate immune system interacts with commensal bacteria to regulate intestinal homeostasis and prevent infection caused by Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC). This program ran from the end of May-beginning of August, and it consisted of approximately 40 hrs a week. Throughout the research program, I become more familiar with laboratory techniques/ methods such as Flow cytometry, Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA), fluorescent microscopy etc. At the end of the program, I had the opportunity to present my data in front of the Microbiology/Immunology department and other summer research students.
By working alongside a PhD student, this research program gave me insight into the skills one must have to be a good scientist. Troubleshooting, critical thinking, patience, and the communication of ones data are all essential qualities of a scientist. The undergraduate research program not only taught me these skills, but it also gave me a better perspective on what it is like to be a graduate student working towards ones PhD. I highly recommend this program to those who are interested in attending graduate school, looking for ways to get laboratory experience, or interested in learning more about current research in immunology/ micro-biome projects