Lindsay Morris

Lindsay Morris -
Dates: Summer 2015
PI/Department: NIH Summer Program w/ Drs. Charles M. Mansbach II, and Shahzad Siddiqi
Time Spent: 40hrs/week for 10 weeks + a few hours on abstract preparation in September

Description: The Caveolin-1 containing endocytic vesicle (CEV) has been studied by this lab previously, and shown to be important in fatty acid absorption into the enterocyte. My summer experience continued this research -- investigation of the role of the caveolin-1 containing endocytic vesicle (CEV) in fatty acid transport to the intestinal ER. I conducted experiments using isolated ER, cytosol, and CEV from wild type and caveolin-1 knockout mice to study fatty acid transport from the cytosol to the ER.  

Techniques used: Isolation of cold-ER, hot-cytosol and CEV from mouse intestinal enterocytes. Binding assay and re-isolation of ER. TLC with identification of fatty acid type. Western blot of various key proteins. 

Advice: Having never done any bench lab work, I wasn't sure I would enjoy spending an entire summer working. As it turns out, I absolutely loved doing research and my mentors were fantastic. I now know research needs to be a key component of my future career and I am actively looking at opportunities and experiences for me to learn more. I would recommend taking a risk and trying bench research -- even if you find you do not love it, it will still be valuable in your career as you learn how to critically read and interpret the literature. I was also able to write an abstract to submit for the SSCI meeting, and hope to be selected to do a poster presentation in New Orleans. 

Ongoing: UTHSC Department of Surgical Oncology w/ Drs. Martin Fleming and Michael Martin

Description: I am doing a retrospective chart review of patients with renal cell carcinoma who had a radical nephrectomy. We are looking at RCCs invading the vasculature to compare patient outcomes and vital status in patients with positive margin status vs. negative margin status.  

Techniques used: Retrospective chart review

Advice: I found this project by simply meeting with a professor and expressing interest in conducting an ongoing research project. I didn't have any ideas of my own -- not even a field of interest. He called a colleague, who immediately had an idea on the back burner for me to take on. I did some literature research on my own, wrote my first IRB proposal with his guidance, got it approved, and am currently digging through patient charts a few hours per week. Working through the process to begin research took much longer than I had expected, so make sure you add some time to the beginning when planning, particularly if working through Methodist and getting information off the tumor registry. Additionally, in conducting a retrospective chart review you have the ability to determine how much time you spend. I could easily spend all my time any given week and get the project done faster, but that is not important to me. I am able to balance my research with school and work through, albeit a bit slower, with time to do both. I also added a classmate to the project to help me and we are making this our LSP project. As a result of my work with these professors, I also am asked to participate on a few smaller projects here and there, without having to commit too much additional time; for these, the project is already given IRB approval, much preliminary research has been done, and I spend a few hours conducting analysis and writing as part of a team. It's an excellent way to network and get involved in ongoing research with residents.

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