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Georgetown College student takes summer to pursue research project on spinal cord injuries in mice


While summers are typically for relaxing and gearing up for the new semester, many Georgetown College students take the summer to further their academics.

This past summer, senior John Lowe took the unique opportunity to further his education and complete a research project studying how age and sex affect spinal cord injuries in mice.

John Lowe took the unique opportunity to further his education and complete a research project this summer.

One thing surprised Lowe after taking on the project. “I was surprised at how much time research takes,” he said. “When you have a question, you’ll often think ‘well, someone’s probably researched that, so we’ll start there.’ But often what you find is someone hasn’t actually done the research because it’s just so time consuming.”

A student who wants to further pursue research opportunities after graduation from Georgetown, Lowe was thankful for the unique opportunity to get an early taste of just what he might expect in his future career and for the opportunity to have his name on an academic paper, which will be published in the future.

“The crazy thing I’ve been thinking about is how long it takes people to get published,” he said. “I was very fortunate to come in on the back end of a really fascinating study and help out in any way I could and have my name on a paper. Sometimes it takes people years and years while pursuing their Ph.D to get on a paper, so I’m just very thankful and fortunate for the opportunity. I was a little ignorant of that going in, but now it’s changed my whole perspective.”

The project came about thanks to Lowe’s involvement with the Science Honors Program at Georgetown. Science Honors students receive a fellowship to complete a summer research project during their sophomore or junior year.

Students from Georgetown have worked with scientists from such institutions as UCLA, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, and the National Cancer Institute.

So what’s next for Lowe? “I want to pursue medicine ultimately, and I’ve always been interested in neurology, so the opportunity to do this kind of research will really help pave the way for me in reading other medical research and going on to medical school,” he said.

From Georgetown College

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