|Experiencing the Experiment: OSU’s Summer Research Training Program|
(Stillwater, Okla., July 19, 2013) – Abby McKisson of Edmond, Okla., is an incoming sophomore at Southwestern Oklahoma State University majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry with the goal of attending OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The pre-vet student was one of 13 students selected to participate in the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences’ Summer Research Training Program, which is where McKisson is conducting research in Dr. Pamela Lloyd’s laboratory.
"This is such an eye-opening experience. I have been able to see how an experiment is designed, conducted, analyzed and published," smiles McKisson. "I have already learned about various tests, techniques and equipment. I am interested in metabolism and cardiovascular health. This lab allows me to combine those two topics perfectly."
Her research project is "The Effect of Long-Term Diet-Induced Hyperglycemia and Hyperlipidemia on NADPH Oxidases and Heme Oxygenase 1 Expression in Mouse Heart." In other words, Abby is studying the effect of excess sugar and excess lipids on the cardiovascular system in Type 2 Diabetes.
"The NADPH Oxidases and Heme Oxygenase are important enzymes affecting oxidative stress," explains McKisson. "We believe these enzymes may be part of the mechanism controlling how arterial vessels enlarge.".
While Abby is investigating how diabetes may affect blood vessel growth, she is also learning about the research process. And it isn’t all about Abby.
"The project I am working on is a continuation of projects being done by Asitha Silva and Nabil Rashdan, PhD students who also work in Dr. Lloyd’s lab," she adds.
"Asitha is studying how diabetes affects the levels of a particular growth factor called placenta growth factor (PLGF) that is important in controlling blood vessel growth. Meanwhile, Nabil is studying how oxidative stress affects PLGF expression. Abby’s project will help to link these two graduate student projects together by showing how diabetes induces oxidative stress. Abby is doing great for someone so new to lab research," says Dr. Lloyd. "I think she has a bright future ahead."
Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university. OSU's Center for Veterinary Health Sciences is the only veterinary college in Oklahoma. One of 28 veterinary colleges in the United States, it is fully accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The center's Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital is open to the public and provides routine and specialized care for small and large animals. It also offers 24-hour emergency care and is certified by the American Animal Hospital Association. OSU is preparing students for a brighter future and building a brighter world for all. OSU improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world through integrated, high quality teaching, research and outreach. For more information, visit www.cvhs.okstate.edu or call (405) 744-7000.