My Journey in Biomedical Research - Part 6

in StemSocial5 months ago (edited)

The Year Everything Changed

The year 2015 was a major turning point in my life. I left the research lab thinking I would never go back. I went through a divorce and experienced one of the most traumatic events of my life that year as well. I eventually hit rock bottom and ended up leaving Charlotte, NC to come back home to Tennessee and be closer to family.

The North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis, NC

In early 2015, I landed at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute (NRI), located on the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis, NC. This 350-acre research center was built by David H. Murdock, owner of Dole Food Company. His 3rd wife passed away from ovarian cancer and he was determined to find a cure through nutrition. The NCRC officially opened in 2008. I had wanted to work there since they broke ground in 2006.

I worked for the Founding Director of the NRI, who is a Professor of Nutrition and Pediatrics. He wanted to better understand how nutrition affects brain and eye development. Our focus was on Vitamin E and DHA.

shutterstock_1726514989.jpg Image source

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is essential for the growth and functional development of the brain in infants. DHA is also required for maintenance of normal brain function in adults. - Health benefits of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

DHA is a long-chain, omega-3 fatty acid. It is the primary structural component of the human brain, skin, and retina. This essential fatty acid must be obtained through the diet and is primarily found in fish. The 7 Best Plant Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

DHA is a building block that is important in enhancing brain development but it is also vulnerable to oxidative damage. Natural Vitamin E acts like a sentry guard protecting DHA from oxidizing with Lutein. - Natural Vitamin E & DHA: Essential nutrients for your infant's brain development

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient that protects your cells and other nutrients from oxidation by free radicals or reactive oxygen species. This antioxidant is rich in vegetable oils, cereals, meat, poultry, eggs, and fruits.

shutterstock_1525624358.jpg Image source

My main task in this lab was cryostat sectioning of brain and eye tissue from mice. I also helped take care of the mice in the vivarium. While I was there, I got to see the primate facility. These little guys ate very well. :)

I really enjoyed working at the NRI, but my time there was less than 6 months. In that brief moment, I sectioned numerous frozen tiny brains and eyeballs. Then mounted the tissue on microscope slides. We stained the tissues with fluorescently labeled antibodies and captured the images on a confocal microscope.

When I left the NRI, it was the last time I worked in a lab in North Carolina. I worked part-time at a health food store in Plaza Midwood. The last couple years I was there, I became a part of the burner community. I learned how to dance with Fire Poi. This exercise helped me get through one of my most difficult times. My burner name is Melyxa Luna, it means Moon Princess. Melyx is an old Viking term for Prince.

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photo credit

My children and I moved to Tennessee in 2017. I worked at the local water plant as an operator. I was the only woman on the job. Those guys kept me on my toes lol. It was a good experience for me. However, I longed to be back in the research lab.

I applied for my next laboratory position in 2019. More on that in my next and final post in this series.

Peace!

Sources:

  1. NORTH CAROLINA RESEARCH CAMPUS

  2. UNC Nutrition Research Institute

  3. Health benefits of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

  4. The 7 Best Plant Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  5. Natural Vitamin E & DHA: Essential nutrients for your infant's brain development

  6. What is Poi? Understanding the difference between traditional Maori poi and what we do here at Playpoi

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That was an interesting read, how so you've only worked at NRI for 6 months?

The Fire Poi dancing looks so cool, goodness you made me wanna pick up a new hobby.

!1UP

Thank you for the engagement! I was going through a very difficult time in my life and it was time to take a break from working full-time.

Fire Poi was a life saving hobby for me, even though it was a dangerous one!

Waiting to see what your next lab job was about!

My next lab job is my current position. I'm here to stay!

I apologize for the challenges you faced that made you take a break from the thing you liked most. I hope that soon, you can get back to it.

The fire poi looks quite interesting, how far have you gone on this one?

I hope your family is okay and you are getting all the support that you need?. Be safe, and happy. 💞

Thank you so much 😊 Life always has a way of slowing us down and for good reason. I am doing much better these days. My children are happy and health, so I am very thankful.

Part 7 of this series reveals my current research today. It is very exciting!

I performed Fire Poi for several events in Charlotte, NC before I moved back home to TN. I haven't danced with fire in a very long time. I think it's time to get back to it!

Thank you so much 😊 Life always has a way of slowing us down and for good reason.

And that's life for you. Always finding ways to create balance for everyone.

I am doing much better these days. My children are happy and health, so I am very thankful.

I am so glad to hear this. Be blessed. ❤️

Part 7 of this series reveals my current research today. It is very exciting!

Is it up on your blog yet? Or you are still working on the draft? I'll love to read through. 🥺

I performed Fire Poi for several events in Charlotte, NC before I moved back home to TN. I haven't danced with fire in a very long time. I think it's time to get back to it!

That's really cool. You should get back to it soon. And if we are lucky you could give us a video of yourself dancing for us to enjoy. 💞💞

Here is the link to the entire series including part 7:

https://peakd.com/hive-196387/@melyxaluna/my-journey-in-biomedical-research

I think sharing a video of my fire performance is a great idea! I know I have one somewhere on social media. I will work on that post soon. Thank you 😊

Thanks for the link. I'll look forward to the video 💞💞

Mmmmh I guess that we know from now on where your Hive username is coming from. Fire dancers are amazing. I have always been impressed with the few shows I have seen. Are you still doing that today?

I haven't lit my Fire Poi in a very long time. I need to start practicing again! It calms my mind and it's great exercise 🤓

I also have LED Poi and Fuzzy Poi for practice. It's time to get back to it!

As always, everything is a matter of finding the time ;)

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