I started in Dr. Lynne Gauthier’s Neuro-recovery lab fall semester of 2018 as a student research assistant. The team I joined worked on the computerized therapy for rehabilitation of upper extremities for patients after stoke. As the project title suggest, the research primarily focused testing the effectiveness of a video game model for patient rehabilitation. As a new addition to the lab, I focused on learning the background of the project and any necessary skills I will need for the lab. A major tool that I had to master was learning to to code in MATLAB as that is where all the data was analyzed.
As time went on, I slowly transitioned into an active role in participant screening and follow up testing allowing me to work with participants directly. Through the screening process, I get to test participants to gather their baseline level. If their level is within the project’s acceptable constraints, the participants will be enrolled. After the participants complete the therapy, I schedule and complete the initial follow-up and then another follow-up in 6 months.
Through this experience, I learned the ins and outs of a clinical trial and learn that my passion lies on working with people directly. In my role, I got to explore all aspects of research from following participants from start to finish, assist in paper writing, analyzing data, and communicate with patients to work through technological issues they experience at home with the treatment. It was an amazing experience and I learned greatly from this project.
Link to published paper: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.101239