Written by Michele Bresler
Participating in the 2013 UNC Celebration of Undergraduate Research Symposium was a great experience that not only allowed me to formally share my research with others but allowed me to see what the numerous other research projects on campus were about.
My research poster titled “Manipulation of Crypt Culture Conditions for Mouse Intestinal Stem Cell Fission” presented my work from Dr. Susan Henning’s Gastrointestinal Stem Cell Lab. Since the intestinal epithelium is one of the most rapidly turning over tissues in the body, it is extremely vulnerable to chemotherapy treatments which often cause damage to the epithelium. In the Henning lab I studied the repair process of the intestine after damage from the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin and worked to create a culture system with conditions where intestinal crypts (location of intestinal stem cells) could survive but only minimally proliferate. This way, we would be able to better understand the factors which induce the proliferation during regeneration after damage.
After presenting my poster, I had the opportunity to walk around the symposium and talk to other participates about their research projects. I loved that there was such a wide range of disciplines including other natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. The students at UNC are involved in some amazing projects and it was inspiring to see all of the vastly different projects that my peers participate in.
I was extremely excited to find out that I had won the research bingo prize as I know that the symposium had attracted a lot of people to see the presentations and that there were many entries. I had originally planned on reading others’ posters so being able to win research bingo for doing so was a great surprise!