The amount of damage that microbes like HIV and Cholera could do to the human body fascinated me, and my curiosity led me to want to learn a lot more about these diseases and others. As an AP biology student, my teachers did go into some detail about how these diseases developed, I kept asking more questions about the molecular basis of how these diseases worked until my teacher would tell me that she did not know. As an idealistic high school student, not only did I want to learn more about how these diseases interacted with the human body, but I also wanted to discover ways of stopping them.
My curiosity and my ambition led me to apply to Edinburgh University, where my interest about the immunological responses of the mammalian body to commensal microorganisms and pathogens flourished as my professors presented me with new ideas and challenged me to learn more about these concepts in microbiology and immunology. By the end of my third year, these new challenges encouraged me to find work in an immunology lab that modeled immunological responses to helminthic infections of mice, a model for human worm infections. However, it was not until my final year that several of my professors discussed their research on the molecular biology of pathogenic microorganisms such as E. coli, Campylobacter jejuni, and Arcobacter butzleri during class. This is where my interest in the field of microbial biology and immunology augmented. By the end of the year, I chose a research project that not only encompassed elements of immunology, but also researched the host-pathogen interplay by assessing the reaction of the host cells to a viral challenge.
The research I performed in these labs has served as my primary motivation to...
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...y manager tested the latter skill by offering me opportunity to improve our contamination tracking system when I expressed an interest in acquiring detailed information about the bacteria that would sporadically contaminate our runs. Since many of the people in my lab did not know how to type bacteria, he gave me the freedom to procure the tools needed to perform these diagnostic tests, as long as I could justify my reason for using it. Over the course of the year I developed a workflow using a variety of differential media, stains, and API test kit that helped me start a detailed log of all of the bacteria I had identified as contaminants. Both of these jobs have provided me with the opportunity to develop my ability to learn independently, to communicate effectively what I have learned to others, and to always search for new ways to approach a challenging task.
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