During one of our discussions on Slack, I mentioned that I conducted research last summer so I thought I would share what I did and what I learned from it. The research I covered was on a new medical drug called Empagliflozin, used to lower blood sugar levels of diabetics. An unexpected benefit though of the new drug was that it also decreased many cardiovascular risks, specifically by decreasing the mass of the left ventricle. The study I worked on was to see if these same cardiovascular risks were observed when used in non-diabetic patients.
Since I was the most junior team member, I was used wherever the team needed me; I had a wide variety of roles. This included taking and inputting data of various vitals into the database, ensuring patients medical histories were accurate, writing and editing parts of the research paper, and doing online research for relevant studies. There was a lot fo tedious work that had to be done, but it was worth being able to do and be a part of the extremely interesting and cutting-edge work being done. The job of doing background research and finding articles that related to the study topic was very similar to what we did for this class. Finding relevant search terms and using proper conjunctions like “AND” and “OR” were all essential in successful searches. Another skill I used from summer in this class was the ability to use the title and abstract to determine if the article was related to the research question. This was important to learn because it could save a lot of time and effort, but also will result in a more detailed and specific final research paper.
Overall, this was an extremely positive experience for me because it exposed to a certain type of research and allowed me to see the process to get something published. Submitting an abstract to a publication, applying for a grant, and the actual write-up of the paper are all new experiences that I learned from and am looking forward to the next one. The final paper was published in Circulation which is pasted below.