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How/Why Research? After tearing my ACL during my senior year of high school, I came to UNC and participated in many of the studies that the EXSS Department was conducting on knee injuries. I found this research extremely interesting and – through the connections I had made by being a participant – was able to begin working in the lab shortly thereafter. While I didn’t intentionally plan on getting involved with research, I am confident in saying that research has been one of the greatest resources available to me in college. Along with developing important skills, such as problem-solving and critical thinking, I have been able to conduct a deep dive on a topic that not only impacts me but impacts the world!

Research Experience: I work in the Pietrosimone Lab Group in the Exercise and Sport Science Department’s Motion Science Institute. MOTION is made up of a few lab groups whose goal is to utilize research to minimize musculoskeletal injury and disability. Under Dr. Pietrosimone, I work to understand the development of post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) following knee injuries, specifically ACL Reconstruction. My favorite aspect of this research is its clinical applications. We work with real people who (may eventually) have real problems (with arthritis) and the work we do can hopefully help minimize this risk! Through this opportunity as an undergraduate research assistant, I have been able to publish abstracts, present at a variety of conferences, and learned more about a subject I am incredibly interested in.

Student Organizations/Clubs: Carolina For The Kids, Biology/Chemistry Peer Mentoring

Also Happy to Chat about: Research Outside of Your Major

Random Fun Fact: I had two pets when I was a kid – a hermit crab and a fish (both were named Joe so that I couldn’t forget their of their names!).