Molly MorrisStudent Research Spotlight - Molly Morris

Molly Morris won second place in the oral presentation category, University-Wide Undergraduate Student Winners in Human Sciences, Social Sciences, Creative Arts, Nursing and Humanities, during the virtual 2021 Auburn Research: Student Symposium.

Hometown:  Birmingham, Alabama
Degree and major: Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences
College: College of Human Sciences
Department: Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality Management
Class year: Senior
Faculty mentor: Drew Frugé

Exploration of the Interaction of Mood Disturbance, Serum Fibrinogen and Gut Microbiome in Adults



What are you researching?
My research centers around the suspected connection between the microbes that live in the gut and human emotions. I focus primarily on observing how the diversity of gut microbes affects the frequency of mood disturbances such as depression and anxiety.

How could the results benefit individuals, agencies or companies?
Mental health is an important part of individual and community health, so it is crucial we find potential ways to improve the lives of those living with common conditions such as anxiety and depression disorders. Understanding what role our gut microbes play in our mental health provides us with new avenues for treatments.

Tell us why you enjoy research.
Engaging in research has been an incredible opportunity to take my learning out of the classroom and into the real world. Getting to experience the process of collecting, processing and interpreting data opens you up to a much better understanding of how scientific discoveries are made.

What advice would you give to other students considering doing a research project?
If you are interested in doing research, find a professor who not only does work that is interesting to you, but is supportive of those he/she mentors. Having a support system while going through the research process makes all the difference for a positive experience.

Tell us about any hobbies or activities you enjoy.
When I get a break from school, I love to hang out with my friends, visit local parks and try new crafting techniques. I also never miss an opportunity to take a road trip.


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