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FHU Senior Participates in Biomedical Research Program

Henderson, Tennessee - Sep 29, 2017

Brooke Pace became a star last summer by returning home to Augusta, Georgia, for a summer internship. The senior biochemistry major found herself immersed in the world of biomedical research through a nine-week internship at Augusta University as a part of their Student Training and Research (STAR) program.

The program offers bright, motivated undergraduate students opportunities to develop their skills as scientists and to explore their interest in biomedical research. STARs participate in a biomedical research project under the guidance of an Augusta University faculty member.

Pace worked at the Laboratory of Integrative Vascular and Exercise Physiology under Dr. Ryan A. Harris. She measured the pulse wave analysis and pulse wave velocity of research participants as a measurement of arterial stiffness. She also worked with patients who had cystic fibrosis, investigating how glycosylated hemoglobin impacted their exercise capacity. She hypothesized that glucose inhibits oxygen extraction by tissues that need it to maintain high exercise capacity.

STAR participants were exposed to a broad range of biomedical research techniques through workshops, discussion groups and laboratory demonstrations. The internship was excellent preparation for entry into a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. program in the biomedical sciences.

“It was amazing to witness the quality and quantity of research data that the STARs generated, the techniques they mastered and the science they learned in just a rapid nine weeks,” Dr. Patricia L. Cameron, director of the STAR program, said. “I was impressed by Brooke as she presented her research project during the STAR poster session.”

Pace said she found “tremendous” benefit in the program. “I definitely realized that I want to pursue research in my career as a medical professional,” she said.