As part of the Undergraduate Research Symposium being held today in CCIS, I interviewed three of the participants of the Symposium about their research. If you haven’t stopped by the Symposium yet, there is still time: posters are on display until 3:30! This is the second interview from Mina Fahmy.
1. Why was your project important?
Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of work disability in Canada, with an annual estimated economic productivity and long-term disability cost of $4.4 billion dollars. One method of dealing with this issue is obtaining, preserving and transplanting human articular cartilage. Cryoprotective agents (CPAs) are required to vitrify the tissue/preserve it indefinitely, however they are also toxic. My study was carried out in order to determine the dose-toxicity relationships of CPAs on human AC. This study will help optimize vitrification protocols that will lead to a large scale transplantation bank and thus has very significant clinical applications.
2. How do you feel undergraduate research has given you an advantage over your peers?
Research requires many hours of intensive work and attention to detail. Throughout the course of my projects I have learned how to better manage time, problem solve and critically analyze information. I believe that these acquired and improved-upon skills will help guide my decisions in several other spheres of life including school and academics.
3. Why did you get involved in research?
I got involved in research because I feel that without research our lives would not advance. Research brings together novel ideas to fill a need that people have and I want to be a part of that. I am particularly interested in research that will dramatically have a positive affect on the lives of others and this is why I chose the supervisor and field that I did.
4. How do you recommend other undergrads get involved in research?
I recommend that other undergraduate students find what they are passionate about and then pursue it. Research is great in that it can be done on a countless number of topics. I suggest doing small-scale personal research until the student finds something intriguing, and then follow up on that by finding a supervisor who can act as a mentor in that area of study and provide resources to facilitate your project.
The third and final interview with Sian Ford will be up at 1 pm, check back then to learn about his research on algal blooms!