Not “highs and lows;” more so “fasts and slows”
As I finish up the second month of research in the Rheumatology Department here at Mayo Clinic, I’ve come to get accustomed to the feeling and pattern of lab life. Coming into this research experience, I was not at all aware of what to expect in terms of work load, and every day I’d leave the lab with a different emotion.
I found myself antsy after days where I would simply be conducting literature searches and lab prep, and I also ...Continue Reading →
The patient behind the test tube: the true beauty of translational research
Hello everyone! My name is Anu Muppirala and I was given the wonderful opportunity to conduct lupus research at Mayo Clinic in the Rheumatology Department alongside Dr. Uma Thanarajasingam, M.D., Ph.D. She has been an absolute joy to work with so far, and I look forward to gaining a better understanding of lupus as I assist her in the fascinating research questions she is pursuing.
To provide a bit of background, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease characterized by ...Continue Reading →
Introducing the project
Hi, everyone! I’m Emily Fellows, a Lupus Foundation of Minnesota Summer Fellow working in Dr. Timothy Niewold’s lab at the Mayo Clinic. First, I would like to thank the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota for providing me this amazing opportunity to not only learn more about systemic lupus erythematosus, but to contribute to the ongoing research efforts directed towards developing a better understanding of lupus, its treatments, and various diagnostic methods.
Dr. Niewold’s lab studies the pathogenesis of various autoimmune diseases, ...Continue Reading →
From bed to bench and from bench to bed
The Lupus Foundation of Minnesota Fellowship was (no exaggeration) the most productive, meaningful, and inspirational experience I could have imagined my summer to be. Not only did I gain research experience and scientific communication skills, but I met peers, mentors, and patients who impacted my perspective on clinical and translational research.
Having the opportunity to interact with patients during my fellowship (with the courtesy of my PI, Dr. Erik Peterson) significantly and positively affected my fellowship experience. I am ...Continue Reading →
Confirming my future direction
Before the start of this fellowship, I was contemplating whether I wanted to go into medicine, research, or both. Upon talking to many mentors, I was leaning towards going into practicing medicine, but finding a way to also stay involved with research. However, although I have had a passion and interest in both for quite a while now, I wanted to experience more before I made the decision.
After the first several weeks of the fellowship under Dr. Peterson, I ...Continue Reading →
A summer of opportunities
This summer was amazing! I can’t even begin to describe how beneficial this summer fellowship was to my future career as a scientist. I learned so many new protocols that I can add to my list, as well as just how a lab works in general. I always thought labs had an impersonal and competitive environment, but this summer I got to see just how collaborative everyone was within and between labs.
I also got to do some amazing things that ...Continue Reading →
The buzz of science
Successful science is not done only from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Nor does it restrict itself to the working week. Working at the Center for Immunology has thrown me into the pace of science: a well-oiled machine that takes over your existence no matter which day of the week or what time of day.
The greatest excitement while doing my experiments has come as the sun is setting, as the lab quietens down from the hustle and bustle of the daytime. Still, ...Continue Reading →
What my project is all about
This week I thought I’d talk more about what my specific project is and what I hope to gain from it. It was nice because when I first heard about this project, I was able to understand all the concepts being discussed because of classes I’ve taken here at the University of Minnesota! My project deals with alternative splicing factors in a signaling molecule known as Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). Usually VEGF has been associated with pro-angiogenic properties, which ...Continue Reading →
Collaboration leads to solutions
This week I really got to dig into my individual summer project! It’s a joint project with Dr. Jerry Molitor who is focused on scleroderma. Seeing collaboration between labs is so refreshing because instead of seeing a highly competitive and self-contained atmosphere, my experience has been full of data sharing and collaborative efforts in order to come up with solutions. He even said I could visit his clinic and shadow him, which is an amazing opportunity that I’m excited for.
The ...Continue Reading →
Lupus research: a balancing act
This week I learned how to balance doing multiple things in a laboratory! Sometimes you can have three different experiments running at once, and you have to make sure you know what all of them are doing. I’m doing a lot of different protocols, like RNA extraction, DNA extraction, cDNA synthesis, and Toll-Like Receptor stimulations.
This week I also got to meet with Dr. Jerry Molitor who is an Associate Professor of Medicine in Rheumatology, working at clinics here at the ...Continue Reading →