In week six of my INBRE fellowship, my research project is in full swing. I’ve gotten a data set together with the anthropometric data and cortisol data, started on my research poster, run data analyses, and written an abstract for the ICUR conference which will take place at the end of July. It’s been so fun to see all my hard work finally start coming together. We’ve been working on the Idaho Mom Study in the lab for over two years and it’s really cool to finally be able to pick out some data, run some analyses, and get some results.
However, in the past few weeks, I’ve also experienced the worst part of research. When I ran my data analyses with the help of my lovely mentor, Dr. Aubuchon-Endsley, we found no association between maternal cortisol levels and infant growth patterns. That was pretty disappointing because the current literature suggested that we might come across some pretty interesting and significant findings. I’ll have to take my project back to the drawing board and maybe examine some of the data we’ve collected through the Idaho Mom Study a bit closer. I think that if we hadn’t screened out at risk mothers and had a larger sample size that completed the saliva samples, we may have found something more significant. Even though I didn’t find anything significant, I still have a positive attitude and I’m definitely excited to finish my poster and present at ICUR and the INBRE conference in about a month.
This summer has absolutely flown by. I can’t believe that it’s already almost July. It seems like summer just barely started! This summer, my INBRE fellowship has provided me with an experience that I am so grateful for. Even though research can be mentally taxing and quite frustrating sometimes, it’s still an overall enjoyable experience.