- Sep 2 Classes Begin
- Sep 2 New Traditions: 2014 Faculty Exhibition
- Sep 4 Author Daniel Gilbert to Speak at Opening Convocation
- Sep 5 Taste of Service and Involvement Fair
- Sep 6 Cheer on the Scots in Their Home Opener
- Sep 18 EnviroThursday - "Helping Forests Adapt to a Changing Climate"
- Sep 18 Visualities of Memory Symposium: Film "The Act of Killing"
- Sep 19 Visualities of Memory Symposium: Poster sessions and roundtable presentations/discussions
- Sep 26 Admissions Fall Sampler
- Sep 26 Inventory: New Paintings by Lisa Bergh and Andrew Nordin Opening Reception
“Seeing patients who could benefit from our pulmonary research was extremely motivating.”
I experienced the world of biomedical research while exploring the clinical side of medicine, thanks to Macalester’s Academic Health Sciences Summer Research Program (AHSSRP). My mentor was Peter Bitterman, a physician-scientist at the University of Minnesota with an active research lab.
Dr. Bitterman’s research is on Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a disease characterized by the thickening of a patient’s airways. There is no known cause or cure, and roughly 40,000 patients die of this disease each year in the U.S.
In seeking to discover the cause of this disease, I studied the effect of the lungs’ extracellular matrix on cellular proliferation in IPF. We received post-surgical lung tissue samples from patients, which I learned how to decellularize and culture. Although much more research is needed, I hope that my work will help inform those future projects.
I loved how AHSSRP balanced research with clinical experiences. Dr. Bitterman is a practicing pulmonologist, and once a week I shadowed him in his clinic. Seeing patients who could benefit from our research was extremely motivating. Through connections within the program I also arranged to shadow doctors in other specialties, experiences that have helped inform my career decisions.
I was lucky to find AHSSRP, like so many other opportunities, through my Macalester professors. When I couldn’t decide between a clinical and a research job this summer, my advisor suggested this program that blended the two. I’m so fortunate for having had this opportunity.