Student Research Spotlight - Anna Solomonik
Anna Solomonik won first place in the poster category, University-Wide Undergraduate Student Winners in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, during the virtual 2021 Auburn Research: Student Symposium.
Hometown: Gadsden, Alabama
Major and degree: Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences
College: College of Sciences and Mathematics
Department: Research in the Harrison School of Pharmacy’s Department of Drug Discovery and Development
Class year: 2021
Faculty mentor: Murali Dhanasekaran
Evaluating the Effects of Chemotherapeutics on Dopaminergic Cells
What are you researching?
In our lab, we are researching the detrimental effects of chemo drugs on the neurons in the brain that produce dopamine, and how this could potentially lead to Parkinson's disease.
How could the results benefit individuals, agencies or companies?
Future research in this field could lead to the development of a chemo drug that doesn't have these life-altering effects, giving patients who are taking these drugs a better quality of life.
Tell us why you enjoy research.
I enjoy research because I like delving into a subject and learning everything I can about it, and that’s essentially what a lot of research is. It’s also very interesting to see the results of your experiments and knowing what processes are leading to those results, and how that plays into your hypothesis. Research is also very rewarding because, even when doing the most menial tasks, you know you're playing a part in a much bigger goal. What you're doing now will help people in the future in ways you don't even know yet.
What advice would you give to other students considering doing a research project?
The best advice I can give to students interested in research is to reach out to professors about their research and ask how you can get involved. If this is something you're not entirely comfortable with, talk to other students who are involved in research and see if they can help you get involved. Another option is to attend research opportunities fairs and find ways to get involved through those. There are so many ways to get involved in research, but the opportunities won't just come to you, you have to go and find them first.