Andrew Howard ’13 gains international recognition for medical research

 

Andrew Howard ’13 gains international recognition for medical research

Posted by Student Worker in News Archive 25 Aug 2011

Andrew Howard ’13 spent his summer doing important medical research in nephrology and hypertension at the Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. as part of hisBrown Fellowship — and his findings have already given him international recognition.

“I worked closely with a mentor, Earl Rudolph, D.O. This work resulted in numerous opportunities for collaboration, including continuing correspondence and collaboration with internationally renowned renal researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden,” Howard says. “My collaborative work with Dr. Rudolph was presented at the National Kidney Foundation’s annual meeting, where it received the top prize.”

As if this honor wasn’t impressive enough, Howard’s research also gave him the opportunity to participate in ISOTT, the International Society on Oxygen Transport to Tissue.

“I worked with researchers from around the world for ISOTT, including Japan, Germany, Sweden, Britain, Australia and Switzerland. I specifically worked in the lab of Dr. Bill Welch, an internationally renowned renal physiologist whose lab receives millions of dollars in NIH grant money,” Howard says.

Through his varied projects this summer, Howard gained experience in lab work that will aid him as he continues medical research in the future.

“I familiarized myself with a number of laboratory procedures, primarily working with radioactivity, western blotting and cell cultures,” he says. “I prepared reports and presentations on our work, which deals with understanding how adenosine affects sodium uptake in the kidney and subsequently affects blood pressure.”

Working with people he knew he could learn a great deal from was the best aspect of the summer for Howard and has confirmed that he’s in the right field.

“My favorite part of the experience was the opportunity to learn from and work alongside with some of the top researchers in the country,” he says. “The people I met and the work I conducted has truly directed me toward a career that incorporates biomedical research.”

Howard will continue to research upon returning to Centre: he will work with chemistry professor John Medley as part of a larger initiative based at the University of Kentucky.

“The ultimate goal of that project is to develop a new treatment strategy for the prevention of postsurgical adhesions,” Howard explains. “We will utilize atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) and click chemistry to synthesize polymers that will hopefully contribute to the overall strategy of this project.”

Howard credits Centre with piquing his interest in this field.

“My two years at Centre have definitely prepared me for my foray into the field of biomedical research. Being a part of Centre’s culture of learning and academic curiosity not only prepared me but inspired me to pursue this research opportunity,” Howard says. “This summer helped me discover what may prove to be not only a lifelong passion, but a vocation as well.”

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