I am a pre-med student, a member of the honors program and a honeybee researcher. And I can do all that because I’m a Bluejay. At Creighton, you’ll find a world of opportunity, challenges to grow and the support to succeed.
Biology and Studio Art, College of Arts and Sciences
I’ve found countless opportunities at Creighton, plus the encouragement and mentorship to make the most of them. My professors and advisors have helped me as I’ve charted my path from biology and studio art to medical school, and the combination of independence and support has been so beneficial.
My research experience is a great example of that. I wanted something that was really hands-on, where I would be able to spearhead a project and do the intellectual legwork. I found that in the lab of one of my first professors, Carol Fassbinder-Orth. She offers plenty of guidance, but it’s ultimately very independent.
This past summer, I started a research project that focuses on establishing patterns of gene expression in honeybees. Globally we’re seeing a decline in honeybee populations. They provide huge benefits to humans—over $40 billion annually in global agricultural outcomes, so it’s imperative that we figure out what’s going on. My project is determining a baseline, establishing patterns of expression of different proteins and hormones. So then if you look at a bee in the future and its levels of gene expression aren’t matching the baseline, that gives you clues to help narrow down what’s happening.
Together with another student, I collected bees, extracted genetic material and then processed it. It was a lot of work, but I learned so much. On top of establishing processes, the machine we were using to examine the genetic material was brand new, so I had to learn how to use it properly. But I can’t overstate the benefit of having the independence I did. I’ve gained an understanding of how to find information when it’s not readily available. I’ve also learned patience and how to stay the course to solve a problem. I’ll be presenting the results of my research soon, and I’m also working on publishing it.