Nicole Cady’s Research Experience

Nicole Cady in labNicole Cady is a senior biology major. She is working in a lab to assist researchers conducting a feeding study in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) and healthy controls.

We are evaluating a modified Paleolithic dietary intervention as a clinical tool for management of MS. One goal of the project is to look at the effects of the high-fiber intervention on the gut microbiome and any resulting effects on the immune system. We are also looking at the metabolism of individuals with MS versus healthy controls to determine whether there are significant differences.

Q: Why did you select this research topic?

A: Initially, I was interested in studying something relating to human health and disease, and the gut microbiome being such an active area of research caught my attention. After finding this lab, I read more about this topic and all the diseases it is associated with, and decided that I would like to continue to pursue the study of it in the future!

Q: What made you want to get involved with research?

A: I have kind of always wanted to do research. I had a teacher in high school that had her PhD and spoke about her years in academia a lot. I knew I wanted to pursue graduate studies so I got involved with research almost as soon as I started at the University of Iowa.

Q: How do you think completing a research project as an undergraduate student has benefited your education?

A: Getting involved in research, especially completing your own independent projects, is learning the skills you’ll need to do your job in the future; and it really helps bolster your understanding of concepts that underlie the experiments you are doing. People say you learn 90% of what you need to know in your field when you start your job, and undergraduate research is like getting a head start on that.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018