With science and technology constantly evolving and leading to new discoveries, I am embarking on a journey to become an experienced researcher, a scientific leader, and a physician . My passion for biology and advocating for others has become an integral part of the aspirations and devotions I hold. My coursework and research experience at Syracuse University, my interest in pursuing an independent research project, and my dedication to helping people in need are all valuable assets that have assisted me in becoming a fully qualified graduate school applicant to obtain a Master’s in Biological Sciences and eventually earn my medical degree. University of Buffalo’s Master of Arts in Biological Sciences program will help prepare for my career goals by allowing me to begin my own research project and to further broaden my knowledge in evolutionary biology and molecular biology. As an undergraduate student at Syracuse University, every science course I have taken has an associated lab component, which enhanced my knowledge on biological techniques including DNA isolation, gel electrophoresis, and restriction analysis. Studying a range of laboratory methods elevated my desire to engage in the research field; I have developed a strong background in clinical and experimental research through two research labs, Syracuse Lead Study and Dr. Cornwell’s Behavioral Neuroscience Lab. The Syracuse Lead Study, directed by Dr. Bryce Hruska, is funded by a National Institutes of Health grant and tests the effects of lead and other environmental toxicants on children’s cardiovascular systems. The purpose of this study is to determine why children are at risk for developing midlife cardiovascular disease and how to prevent that risk. By working directly with participants from the Syracuse community, I gained insight concerning how to deliver clinical study protocols and how to perform quantitative data analysis. It was through the lead study I learned the importance of research in people’s everyday lives and how it serves as a catalyst to understanding the complexities of various issues.Working as one of three undergraduate assistants alongside Dr. Cornwell, I investigated whether environmental enrichment, the stimulation of the brain by its physical and social surroundings, prevents autistic-like behavior in maternally separated CD-1 mice. Autism is associated with depression and anxiety levels; therefore, this research addresses experimental variables that will provide information on the development of autism in humans. We hypothesized that the environmental-enriched mice will illustrate social deficits, whereas the standard mice will not. Results from both tests revealed that maternally separated mice with environmental enrichments spent significantly more time in the open arms of the maze and in the center of the open field than the standard mice. The results coincide with our initial hypothesis that maternal separation increases anxiety levels, which is a symptom of autism in CD-1 mice. Being able to use this research to further explore environmental or psychopharmacological treatments for autistic effects motivates me to conduct my own research and formulate new findings. After a year of working on the maternal separation research, I was fortunate to present my work at the Annual CSTEP Statewide Conference 2018, for which I am preparing my poster.I found myself so intrigued by the two research labs that it has motivated me to devise my own research with similar objectives during my graduate program. I would like to conduct research concerning the cellular, molecular, and biological mechanisms that leads to childhood asthma in order to provide physicians and public health educators with innovative information to develop improved assessments and treatments. In addition, I am interested in studying asthma in children specifically from economically disadvantaged and minority backgrounds in order to determine whether health disparities in underprivileged communities is a factoring variable. Asthma is one of the world’s leading chronic illnesses and has been influenced by genetic and environmental factors; despite recent research findings, there is still no cure for asthma, nor is the treatment helping everyone. By examining how the disease is caused, we can ultimately improve the quality of life for those diagnosed with asthma.My interest in this program is bolstered by University of Buffalo’s excellence in Biological Sciences and professors researching gene expression, cell signaling, and molecular genetics, all of which are beneficial to my future research. The Master of Arts program in University of Buffalo offers me the opportunity to work with faculty members such as Dr. Clyde Herreid, Dr. Michael C. Yu, and Dr. Richard R. Almon, a professor conducting research using the drug corticosteroid on animals to evaluate the response over time. Dr. Almon’s research methods correspond to the approach I would like to use in my scholarly project. Furthermore, I was a Research Assistant for the Emergency Department at Upstate University Hospital, where I completed study procedures and testing for eligible patients for the ongoing research trials. This experience instilled me with the abilities to independently plan and design experiments, which is beneficial for starting a research project. By earning a master’s in biology, I am taking the next step to contributing to the creation of new knowledge and cutting-edge research to serve the community for a brighter future. Upon completing the graduate program, I hope to obtain my medical degree to become a surgeon and utilize my talents to assist those in need.

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