This past week I have the opportunity to present my research at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Anaheim, California. I presented my research on Melanin Binding as a Strategy for Sustaining Drug Delivery in the Eye, which was conducted during my 2019 summer internship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the lab of Dr. Laura Ensign. We wanted to see how well drugs used to treat Glaucoma bind to melanin found in the eye. We were able to successfully classify two drugs currently on the market to treat Glaucoma to have a low binding capacity to melanin. In the future, the lab hopes to develop a vehicle to increase the binding capacity of these drugs for better drug retention and overall better treatment of the disease.
At the conference, I not only presented my research, but I also attended professional development sessions and had the opportunity to speak to graduate schools about their programs and internships. My career goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and later work as a research scientist for a Pharmaceutical company. So, being able to network with my top grad school options pushed me one step forward to accomplishing my goals. Overall, the conference was an amazing learning experience. I was surrounded by other minority scientists who are just as dedicated to impacting the medical field as I am.