Monday, January 29, 2018

URSP Student Quonte Watkins Looks at the Effects of a Defective GLUT3 Receptor on the Cells Overall Ability to Maintain its Resting Membrane Potential

The origin of my project stems from multiple areas of interest in my life. The first being my desire to broaden my understanding of the biochemical aspects of the structure and function of the human body especially those that take place in the brain and cause disease. My second major interest was in learning what it takes to pursue a career in research. As I began to meet many people who either had or knew someone who suffered from diseases such as diabetics, schizophrenia, and seizures it made me want to learn more about these diseases, and what exactly caused them. Therefore, after doing lots of research on these topics, I took the knowledge that I gained from each of them and applied them in an experiment that I believed could yield useful results and help me gain a better understanding of the brain while doing so.

For my project, I looked at the effects that a defective GLUT3 receptor would have on the cells overall ability to maintain its resting membrane potential. If this defect caused negative implications in the receptors’ ability to translocate back into the cytoplasmic membrane (as a result of increased energy demand by the neuronal cell), I wanted to discover if this can potentially result in epileptic seizures. This is significant because the lifespan of most human nerve cells is typically like life span of the individual. Therefore, if there is a defect or mutation that effects that cells normal function, there is a greater possibility that it can have negative lifelong implications. This ties in with my life long goal of discovering new ways to help people detect and treat various diseases as I pursue father health care degrees.

Every week I did literature searches for sure! Aside from that I carried out various measurements and calculations as well as maintain my cell cultures.

The one thing that I have definitely learned is that research is difficult, and it does require a lot of work, but if your passionate about what you are doing, you can be successful and discover even more things than what you originally intended.