Wednesday, October 26, 2016

URSP Student Bradley English Uses Computational Modeling Tools to Understand Advanced Glycation End-products

I became interested in my project after I began to wonder why we tend to grow sick more often twenty or so years after we reach maturity. Since then, my interest has transitioned from a curiosity to what I believe to be one of the greatest moral imperatives – giving humanity more years of health.

I see this related to my long-term goals not only because I personally would love to be a recipient of such advancements, e.g. “making 80 the new 50.” Even if I was simply born too early to ever see them, my lifelong contribution would still be worthwhile if it is to bring them any closer for posterity.  

Concurrently,science and technology has always fascinated me. So, I revel in any opportunity of putting myself closer toward such a career that would likely keep me happy and busy.

On any given week though, I use computational modeling tools to better understand a key contributor to aging – AGEs or Advanced Glycation End-products. Yesterday, for instance, I logged into George Mason’s “supercomputing” cluster, ARGO, for the first time ever. I had a surge of excitement as I considered the entirely new scale of computation this gave access to; however, an equal sentiment counterbalanced this with a reminder of the responsibility this carries – I would be sharing this capacity with other researchers hoping to make their own benevolent contributions to the world.

This term, I once again immediately recognized the importance of guidance from those whom have come before. ‘Reinventing the wheel’ brings us no closer to progress and there are some things –subtleties in technique or attitudes in perception – which cannot be encapsulated in an online manual. Lastly, I would like to profoundly thank those who have been so gracious to agree to mentor me and those who have allowed me the opportunity to try to make a difference. To me, it as a clarion call to do all I can… Thank you.