On Track to Understanding Pediatric Brain Trauma

This summer, I have the opportunity to work in a pediatric brain trauma lab. The lab aims at trying to better understand the differences in the brains of infants versus those of children of other ages. Further, we study how these differences influence injury, self-repair, and recovery from injuries.

My Boston College career has prepared me for this internship in many ways. The rigorous coursework has helped me develop a strong work ethic and good time management so that even for deadlines that seem far away and have “plenty of time,” I am always trying my best to stay ahead of my work schedule. It has also taught me there is no harm in asking questions when I am unsure of something before issues spiral out of control because I was too afraid to speak up and ask a simple question. My academic career has also provided me with basic scientific knowledge and skills that are necessary for success in my office and lab.

What really sets me apart, however, is not necessarily any of those skills, but the more abstract ways BC has given me a unique “edge” in the “real world.” BC has taught me how to network and be able to hold intelligent conversations with people of all ages and career levels. BC has also taught me to always look at the bigger picture and to focus especially on the person who will be affected. This is especially true in relation to the medical humanities minor, as all classes I have taken for the minor thus far have reinforced this lesson for me. In a lab, when working with data or biological samples, it can be easy to forget the reason for why we do these tasks, and easy to get frustrated with seeing just how crucial it is to do it well. However, I find it easy to step back and remind myself that somehow all of these little things will come together and hopefully drastically improve the lives of patients. For me, that is a truly beautiful concept, and I really credit BC’s motto of “for others” that is so often instilled in us for allowing this easy ability of a reminder of the person that can be healed, rather than focusing solely on the data itself.

Feel free to check out my lab here! 

Written by Jacqueline Andrews, BC Class of 2017

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