My name is Katie Denius. I am a Biological Sciences major with a double minor in Chemistry and Public Health. This summer I will be doing research on macular degeneration. I spent this past school year working on the parthenogenesis of dry macular degeneration and will be using this summer to study the parthenogenesis of wet macular degeneration. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) it is common in elderly people and causes a loss of the central field of vision. AMD is actually recorded as the leading cause of blindness in first world countries.

This first week of research has been great for me. Because the specific tissue sample I will be working with is not making its appearance until early July I have been practicing lab techniques which I will need to know for this project and looking forward, for future projects as well. I have also been working on a lit search to help diversify and broaden my knowledge of AMD, the anatomy of the eye and specific biomarkers that have already been identified during analysis. One concern I have is not receiving the tissue sample in time to have a clear identification of the bio marker by the research symposium in August. But, I will make do with the information I have when that time comes.

My fellow Fellows are who have been making this experience amazing. Each person brings something new and intriguing to the table which is why I love this group of people so much already. I know everything is going to be alright because we are going through this experience together and will always have each other’s backs no matter what. I am looking forward to research, friendship and community engagement this summer!

I would just like to say that as hard as we are all working and as hard as it may seem we are all working towards the same goal and need to lean on each other whenever it is needed. I am so impressed by all of your dedication this far to your projects and can’t wait to hear and see them come together in the following weeks.

Keep Calm and Research On!

Katie Denius