Welcome to the first week of my blog! This week has consisted mainly of getting up to speed with the specifics of my project, as well as some safety training before I go into the lab next week. Over the past couple of days, I have brushed up on lab safety techniques and work safety protocols. My specialized study will consist of researching a treatment for acute kidney injury (AKI) following a tourniquet treatment.
Let’s break that down: a tourniquet is a very common treatment for soldiers who suffer gunshot wounds. The basic principle is that blood flow is restricted by wrapping an elastic ring near the injured limb to prevent the patient from bleeding out. Though this method sounds simple, it saves many lives on the battlefield as it gives the doctor time to treat the wound properly. The main problem with this method, however, is that after the tourniquet is released, harmful enzymes build up within the blood stream, causing complications in many different organs, such as the liver and the kidney, which causes diseases like AKI.
AKI is often found in older patients who suffer from high blood pressure or already have a different chronic disease. It develops very quickly and requires intensive treatment, or else it can be fatal. At the moment, however, there is no good treatment for AKI that doesn’t produce extremely adverse side effects. The reason why my study is unique is because it identifies an abnormal risk factor for young, wounded soldiers and seeks a solution to an already widespread problem.
Within the coming weeks, I will be working with Dr. Xiaoming Zhou in lab to research a treatment for acute kidney injury following a tourniquet release in genetically modified mice.
I will be reading research papers and become more knowledgable on this topic over the next couple of weeks. I am extremely excited to update you all within the coming weeks. This lab experience is something very few high schoolers are exposed to, and I am grateful for this opportunity to contribute to the lab.
Till next week!