Anna Miracle, on working in Dr. Butterfield's Lab Division of Athletic Training
What (or who) inspired you to pursue hands-on research experience?
I was approached as a sophomore by a professor to conduct research in his lab. So, he had the most influence on me beginning research. Research was also strongly encouraged in my majors, psychology and biology.
What do you enjoy most about your time in lab or in research in general?
I really enjoy the people I work closely with, Dr. Butterfield and Dr. Dwyer. I am getting a lot of practical experience from learning about the EMG, grant writing, and writing scientific papers for journal submission among other things
Describe what a day might look like in lab?
With the project I'm currently involved, I usually come to the lab and we set up to collect data from our rats as they walk on a specially designed treadmill. We collect EMG data from several muscles in rat hindlimbs as they walk on level and inclined planes. Rats are injected with Botox-A in their left gluteus medius muscle and data is collected prior to and after this injection while they walk on the treadmill. We are looking at changes in muscle function, gait patterns, and joint morphology following the Botox-A induced muscle weakness. I have recently become trained to collect and process data using the Datapac EMG software. I have spent most of my time lately working with that data.
At what point in your education did you realize this might be an opportunity for you?
This is actually my fourth research assistantship as an undergraduate student. The first time I realized research could be an opportunity for me was in my sophomore year when a professor approached me to work in his lab. From that point, I think I've always been in a lab conducting research with one professor or another.