Project Summary

Hello all, welcome back to school! This summer research project provided a very different experience compared to what I am used to. Throughout my research I encountered many problems; learning how to read technical papers and teaching myself important biological concepts tested my resolve and ability to learn new skills on my own. Perhaps the biggest lesson I learned throughout this process, however, was how much work goes into producing research papers. Though I had written research papers in class, none were as in-depth or work intensive as my summer research project ended up being. Regardless of my eventual career path, I am glad I was able to have such an experience, as it exposed me to higher-level reading and writing and helped me acquire new skills.

In terms of the results of my project, I tentatively found that drug-receptor bonding and thermodynamics may play a role in drug addictiveness. Further, I made many discoveries regarding why conducting such research into biochemical and molecular mechanical processes in the brain is so difficult; the human brain is incredibly complex and receptor characterization in one section of the brain does not always translate to other areas of the brain.

I look forward to presenting and seeing everyone else’s projects at the research symposium in October. Best luck this semester!