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SIT-Summer Institute in Taiwan
Academic Exchange & Cultural Experience in Taiwan
As one of the host lab in SIT program, we think that the SIT program is very organized. SIT is doing very good to achieve the academic exchange between the western and the eastern. Yet, there may be some minor improvement could be done in the future. The orientation should not end during rush hour traffic, and it may be better to not have the students arrive on a Friday because there are very few people still working in the lab very late then to meet them upon arrival. It would be better for them to arrive either Friday morning or on Monday.
Our visiting student, Angelina E. Altshuler, adapted very well to the lab. She already previously knew one of the graduate students from her home institution UCSD (the student participated in a similar exchange program 1 year ago). Even though the group is large, she has adapted well to meet so many people. She has also been taught some Chinese and helped the lab members learn some English. We think she has bonded with many of the other lab members, and she is often engaging in scientific discussions with the other students and post-doctoral researchers. The lab works as a team, so she has been assisted by several different members in order to complete her experiments. She has made lasting friendships with some of the members and will likely keep in touch with them in years to come. This may bring benefit in expanding the perspective of our lab members. Angelina has also brought a positive influence to the lab. She is very energetic and willing to work with others. She has taught the other researchers a little bit about how research is done in the America.
Angelina spent the beginning part of her research learning new surgical techniques. She eventually was able to perform the abdominal artery stenosis in a rat model. Using this model, she has generated novel data on the glycocalyx profile in high and low shear stress regions and after lower abdominal artery stenosis. From these experiments, she found that the glycocalyx is naturally more dense in low shear regions in the aorta (inner aortic arch) and less dense in the straight segment of the aorta and the outer aortic arch. There is relatively low uptake of plasma proteins into the glycocalyx in these regions. However, the glycocalyx profile changes 24 hours after the artery stenosis. The endothelial permeability to plasma proteins increases where the clip was placed and the glycocalyx density is lower compared to the downstream or upstream regions of the aorta. To determine the mechanism by which the glycocalyx is reduced during changes in flow patterns, she studied a particular class of enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases to determine their enzymatic activity after the artery stensosis. The enzymatic activity was found increases near the placement of the clip and downstream of the clip site.
Overall, SIT program brings obvious positive effect and improvements to our lab, especially in communicating and exchanging idea in academic research.
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