My name is David Le and my current project is on the quantitative ultrasound analysis of the upper trapezius in people with chronic neck pain. This project is a continuation of a project I did in the Fall of 2016 and is part of a long term project in the Biomedical Imaging Lab. I became interested in this project due to the potential benefits that can arise from studying how muscle is affected by the chronic pain. If this project were to succeed, medical doctors would have a greater understanding of the illness and be able to treat it more effectively.
My plan for the future is to obtain a doctorate in biomedical engineering, which is why I was excited to be given an opportunity to perform research at George Mason University. Having research experience is an important way for me to differentiate myself from other applicants applying to graduate school.
On a weekly basis I take part in data collection from subjects who arrive at the Krasnow Institute. This typically involves taking ultrasound images of trigger points in these subjects as well as waiting for other members of this project to complete their individual parts. From there, I process the data to initially understand how the backscattered waves change based on the angle of which we place the ultrasound transducer. This semester has been more difficult than the one before since subjects have not been consistently scheduled and they oftentimes cancel. This has taught me how difficult clinical studies are in comparison to experiments that do not rely on human subjects.