This summer BRAVO! sent me to a world filled with world-class research, unbelievable live music, hip street fashion, and endless tea breaks.
The Biology Research Abroad-Vistas Open program gave me the opportunity to extend my work with Dr. David Armstrong and Dr. Ron Heimark in the Department of Surgery at the UA to a dynamic collaboration with Professor Andrew Boulton and Dr. Frank Bowling at University of Manchester, and Professor Valerie Edwards-Jones at Manchester Metropolitan University. There I studied the microbiology of Diabetic Foot Ulcers (DFUs) infected with MRSA and other bacteria during different therapies.
Having worked with DFUs at the UA, I knew they were nasty and that held true overseas. While in Manchester, I learned microbiological techniques that I had never used in my research lab before. With only 3 months to spend in the program in Manchester I was motivated to learn skills quickly and work closely with senior staff. I was always challenged by the professors to do more and by the end of the summer I had worked on three completely distinct studies.
The city is flooded with young people while school is in session and they are all very open and accessible. What do these students do? They spend time, as I did, in quirky, indie cafes and bars listening to the unheard of bands or going on pilgrimages to music festivals around the country.
Back in Tucson, I still keep in touch with my lab and clinical staff weekly. I’ve asked a few of them to visit Arizona for my graduation and I can’t wait to see them again! Living on my own in Manchester, working each day, taught me a lot about science, people (British, Asian, and French especially), and myself. I cannot thank everyone enough who was involved in this program!