By: Allison O’Brien
Master of Science student Laura Young weighs an ingredient that will aide in detecting senescent cells in skeletal muscle cross-sections at the Health Sciences Building at UPEI on February 7, 2019. (Allison O’Brien)
Laura Young says two years ago she never would have imagined herself doing a Masters of Science program at UPEI.
Now the Vernon Bridge, PEI native is working on a research project harnessing cellular senescence for muscular repair.
“I’m looking at a certain cell phenomenon called cellular senescence, and I’m looking at it in skeletal muscle tissue to see, maybe it can play a regenerative role in [injured] muscle.”
Cellular senescence causes biological cells to stop dividing, and is typically associated with age-related diseases and cancers.
Part of Young’s research includes looking at the molecular pathways associated with muscle repair in mice.
“I’m using mice and collecting tissue and essentially trying to determine the cells that have become senescent, and I’m trying to find out if those cells have a regenerative capacity.”
The research could lead to breakthroughs for those who suffer from age-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
Young says when she was completing her undergrad at UPEI, the thought of doing a Master of Science program never crossed her mind.
“I didn’t think I was capable of doing that. It wasn’t until I talked to my professor who made the suggestion that I thought, yeah, I’m gonna do this.”
Young says that anyone who is interested in doing a Master of Science program at UPEI should work on making connections with researchers from the Faculty of Science to find out if they are taking on students.
Young adds that any students who want to know more can send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.