Wound Healing and the Impact of Diabetes

Temitope using microscope




Project Summary

Prior to starting my internship, I had never participated in biological research, and I was incredibly nervous.  The mere title of the research project, Clinical applications of a FOXO1 Inhibitor in Normal, Diabetic and Metabolic Syndrome Wounds Using Minipig Skin Models, intimidated me.  The project focuses on how the forkhead box O1 transcription factor (FOXO1) differentially affects normoglycemic, diabetic, and metabolic syndrome wound healing.  The study hoped to understand the mechanism through which FOXO1 affects wound healing. Despite my nerves, my first day in the lab both helped calm me and provide me with knowledge about the nature of biological research. The first technique I learned, Hematoxylin and Eosin staining, revealed to me the meticulous nature of biological research.  The detailed protocol that I learned from explained exactly how to do each step and simplified the entire procedure.  Completing the stain, the first day and subsequent trials, revealed to me the constant refinement that occurs in research.  Although a detailed protocol of the procedure already existed, each new stain was an opportunity to perfect the procedure.  This, refinement, genuinely surprised me as I had been warned about the repetitive nature of wet lab research.  Many people cautioned me that I would complete the exact same experiment continuously, but I found myself constantly improving various protocols in order to obtain the best results.  Throughout the summer, I regularly discovered new ways to approach my work, and I began to relish finding solutions to address new challenges. Overall, participating in this research project has taught me that experiments are not always linear processes, moving continuously from the first trial to the last trial.  Instead, previous steps and actions are always revised, reanalyzed, and modified for improvement.  I finished my internship with my anxiety eliminated and a newfound appreciation for experimental biology research.