Introduction: Preserving Future Generations of Veterans

Mar 02, 2020

Hi everyone, welcome to my first blog post! My name is Nathan and I’m a senior BASIS Independent McLean.

As I mentioned in my abstract, the goal of my project is to experiment different treatments for wounded soldiers. Too often, the “wounded” stat when looking at battlefield casualties is overshadowed by the number of fatalities. Wounded soldiers, though they make it off of the battlefield, often experience chronic physical and mental health problems. In fact, a gunshot to a vital organ damages the tissue and exponentially increases the chances of cancer in that area. I will be experimenting different treatments on genetically modified mice and will observe the long term effects on the mice’s health.

There are a couple reasons I decided to choose this as my project. The first reason is my interest in the medical field. For all of my life, I have been a STEM inclined student, but it wasn’t until high school that I developed a strong interest in the medicine. Through my experiences at my internship at Johns Hopkins University and my hands on experience at the Virginia Governor’s School for Math Science and Technology, I have gained a lot of exposure to the clinical side of the medical field, which deals with patient-doctor interactions and physical treatments. With this research project, I hope to explore the research aspect of the medical field, which is geared more towards the development of treatments through extensive experimentation.

The second reason is that I come from a military family; on both sides of my family, nearly everyone has had experience in the military, whether they are active duty or they served right out of college. Though my direct family has never been injured on the battlefield, they have told me stories of their colleagues suffering after mine explosions, or after being shot. Specifically, I have always inspired by uncle on my mom’s side, who is a combat surgeon for the military. With this project, I hope to gain a better perspective on what “serving our country” truly means. 

I will be conducting my project at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in Bethesda, Maryland, which works closely with Walter Reed Hospital and the National Institute of Health. I will be working closely with Colonel Kevin Chung, the head of the Department of Medicine. This week, I will mainly be conducting my safety training and becoming acquainted with the residents and professors at the university.

Stay tuned for next week!

4 Replies to “Introduction: Preserving Future Generations of Veterans”

  1. Thomas E. says:

    This project seems right up your alley, Nathan. I can’t wait to see the specific testing you will do and the answers that you will find!

  2. ashleyb says:

    How was lab safety? Also, are you going to be working directly with the mice?

  3. Tad B. says:

    Awesome project, Nathan! It is fascinating to hear about your background and personal connection to this project. It sounds like you are doing research that can really impact soldiers’ lives in a positive manner. I am looking forward to hearing more in the coming weeks!

  4. Charles T. says:

    This is a perspective that many Americans overlook unintentionally! It’s important to be cognizant of the post-duty effects often times unseen by the general public.

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