STEP Reflection

  1. I learned about novel TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) signaling in fibrosis diseases and cancer for the development of novel TRAIL-based therapies and imaging under Dr. Seulki Lee, my mentor. He is an expert in drug and protein drug delivery, nanotechnology and molecular imaging leading to more than 120 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 20 patents for drug/protein deliver and diagnostic imaging methods.
  2. Before I went to Baltimore for my internship, it was always my thought that since we are so technically advanced, every disease/health related problems were curable. I was wrong. My internship at Johns Hopkins University medical center was about liver fibrosis, a liver disease without definite cure. This motivated me to push further to become a doctor or a researcher in order to treat patients since my goal is make every disease curable so everyone can be saved regardless of their condition.
  3. While in Baltimore, I participated in one of their exciting translational research projects, the development of bioengineered recombinant human TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) proteins for fibrosis and cancer therapy. Through this project, I gained deeper knowledge about liver fibrosis, such as the cause of the disease, effect of the disease, chemicals that act activated once liver fibrosis is in process and many more. Drinking too much alcohol is one of the main cause!

On top of learning about liver fibrosis, I got an opportunity to acquire hands on skills regarding administration of drugs and experimental compounds in mice and rats (Intraperitoneal Injections). I injected 50 mouse everyday with olive oil, a placebo, and CCl4, a chemical used to trigger liver fibrosis in mouse.  It was great to actually participate in one of the research that was ongoing and be a part of something that could potentially become an actually medicine in the future.

With the support of STEP fund, I learned how to strategize a research direction towards a successful translation of newly developed bioengineered protein drugs and drug delivery systems. I also interacted with both clinicians and research scientists throughout the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute with expertise in their own field that I never would imagined of working with.

  1. As I stated from question 2, this projected confirmed what I wanted to do in the future is indeed what I want to become, a doctor or a researcher. I love helping people in general since I grew up my parents who are both doctor go to several mission trips to Philippines and other countries. I want to do what my mom and dad is doing and I truly believe I can become like them!





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