Knox alumna Mrinalini Chakraborty '12, national field coordinator for the Women’s March, was recently intervi...
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2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401-4999
Major in Biology, Minor in Spanish
What inspired you to pursue this project?
I'm studying biology in hopes of either going to veterinary school or getting a Ph.D in animal sciences (or both), so my research is heavily influenced by my love for animals. I'm looking at bloodroot, a plant that has previously been used as an herbal medicine in history, as a possible treatment for dog cancer. With that being said, my research consists of three major components: first, an extensive literature review of the plant and previous uses, as well as common cancer treatments/outcomes for dogs; and second, a clinical experience, so I'm interning at a local veterinary hospital here in Galesburg. One of the veterinarians has been using bloodroot as a treatment for specific dog and cat cancers for the past eight years, so the goal of the internship was to observe the clinical side. Third, I'll be taking a look at all of his patients' records that he's used bloodroot with, and assessing the outcome, quality and length of life, recurrence, etcetera and compare that data to other common treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation. The goal of my research is to determine if bloodroot could be a better form of treatment for some canine cancers due to its chemical properties.
What Knox resources might've influenced or assisted this project?
The funding of McNair has been a huge help for my research, in addition to the emotional support of the faculty and students. It's basically like one big family; we're all going through this together and we're there to support one another. Professor of biology and chair of the neuroscience program Judy Thorn is another huge influence for my research. She's my faculty mentor for my research. Judy has done so much for me in terms of assisting in my research, getting me the connections for my internship at the clinic with Dr. Pete Plescia DVM, and supporting me in any way that she can.
How do you think this will influence your future?
My future plans are to either go to veterinary school or graduate school to study animal science. I could potentially do a combined program and get both a Ph.D and DVM, but who knows where I'll end up! All I know is that I want to work with animals and help them in any way that I can. My research will help me get there by giving me the experience of hands on clinical work, as well as laboratory research. This research is basically allowing me to see what it'd be like to go into this field before I'm even done with undergrad, which is not something many people get to do.
Natalie Haddad '19 is the Vice President of Recruitment for Knox's Panhellenic Council. She is also a part of the TRIO Achievement Program and a COAST Scholar. Haddad actively volunteers at Woodland View Horse Barn.
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