Friday, January 3, 2020

URSP Student Durwood Moore works on the Validation of Mouse Models through the Scoring of Fibrosis in Histological Sections and the Identification of Fibroblast Infiltration of Murine Alveolar Tissue using Immunocytochemistry

My name is Durwood Moore and I am a senior Biology student here at George Mason. In the Fall of 2018, I participated in the Biology Department’s Fall Research Semester, where I was able to work with Dr. Geraldine Grant, a phenomenal biology professor. Dr. Grant’s lab focuses on researching a lung disease known as Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, or IPF.IPF is an interstitial lung disease characterized by the unregulated build-up of scar tissue and over-abundance of fibroblasts. During that semester, I gained valuable technical and analytical skills that I will carry with me through graduate school and into my future career as a medical researcher. As that semester came to a close, I decided that I wanted to continue researching IPF, so I volunteered in Dr. Grant’s lab in the Spring of 2019 and applied for OSCAR funding for the Fall of 2019. 

This semester, I am validating a mouse model that our lab has been developing, as well as investigating the role of cellular senescence in the progression of IPF. Through a variety of staining techniques, I was able to observe the changes to the mouse lung architecture. My semester started by troubleshooting the different techniques that I would be using. After making sure that the protocols were optimized, I would prepare the lungs samples, stain them, and then image the samples. Often, my day involved sitting in front of a microscope for hours on end and carefully searching each sample for evidence of fibrosis. One of the most exciting things that I learned to do this semester was to quantify the fluorescence of certain stains and normalize the data before comparing treatment groups. I hope to apply the technical and analytical skills that I have learned during my time here at George Mason to create new knowledge and to improve the lives of other people.