Annie Ameha

Annie Ameha, aameha@uthsc.edu
UTHSC Medical Student Research Fellowship
PI/Department: David Hains, M.D., Children’s Foundation Research Institute
Average time spent: 35-40 hours/week in Summer 2015

I spent my summer between first and second year working in the lab of Dr. David Hains at the Children’s Foundation Research Institute located in the research tower of LeBonheur Children’s Hospital. This lab investigates the genetic component of urinary tract infections, specifically within children with congenital anomalies, such as vesicoureteral reflux, who are prone to infections. By looking at this unique population, the hope is to identify a genetic element that could be targeted for early diagnosis and treatment in the future.   

Since I had never been exposed to any basic science research in the past, this experience was an excellent way to become involved in bench research. I spent most my time working under the lab manager and familiarizing myself with various lab techniques. For example, the first week we used our own whole blood samples to extract DNA to be used as standards. The final product – my very own DNA – is pictured below. I enjoyed the variety of tasks that I was able to participate in and the many personalities within our lab. 

Another exciting aspect was being able to shadow Dr. Hains in his clinical duties. I was given the opportunity to go to outpatient pediatric nephrology clinic once a week. I was also able to observe my PI perform a kidney biopsy. Dr. Hains strongly encouraged attendance at nephrology grand rounds and pediatric grand rounds once a week. These additional endeavors gave me a well-rounded research experience and a better appreciation for the life of a physician-scientist.  

Annie Ameha's Research

 

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