LSAMP: Tell me a little bit about the research you’re conducting this summer!
Annika: This summer I have been conducting research with Dr. Anastasia Vlasova at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster, Ohio. The research I have been working on is focused on gaining a better understanding of the little-understood porcine rotavirus C. My project has a focus on surveillance of the virus in a particular swine herd, while also assessing the role that maternal immunity plays in immunity for piglets. While most of my work was focused in the lab, I was also able to gain experience on the animal side by helping with some of the procedures.
LSAMP: How did you get involved in undergraduate research?
Annika: My experience as a LSAMP scholar made me become more interested in undergraduate research. LSAMP made me realize just how valuable research could be in helping guide my preparation for professional school, and I very grateful for the opportunity to work on this project with the help of the LSAMP SURE Program. The project that I am working on combines my interests in immunology and animal health. The department I am working through is Veterinary Preventative Medicine where the veterinary profession meets research, a potential direction I may take my career.
LSAMP: What do you enjoy most about undergraduate research?
Annika: Undergraduate research has made me appreciate having the ability to apply my knowledge gained through course work to actual practice. In my time at the OARDC, I have gained many valuable laboratory skills in addition to a greater understanding of animal science and health. It is very gratifying being able to see my work in the lab having valuable results.
LSAMP: Does your experience working with undergraduate research connect to your future career goals?
Annika: My experience with undergraduate research has opened my mind to the possibilities of incorporating research into my intended career of becoming a veterinarian. Through making connections at the OARDC, I have learned more about the importance of animal health research and where it fits in to the veterinary profession. I hope to gain more experience with research in the future to help consolidate my future career goals.