What I liked
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.3 billion people live with some form of visual impairment. Before potential treatments for visual disorders become available, they must be tested on model organisms, like zebrafish (Danio rerio). At Brown, I worked to develop a novel assay, which captured the visually-guided behavior of zebrafish larvae, in response to both visual and acoustic stimuli. This assay was utilized to determine if vision loss in zebrafish larvae was achieved after exposure to UV radiation and forms of visible light. In the future, this assay could be used to test treatments for visual disorders and measure the loss and recovery of vision in the zebrafish larvae.
My favorite part of this research was learning how to run behavioral assays and working with the zebrafish (they are a great model organism to work with!). I also enjoyed the people who I worked with. They were extremely supportive and guided me through learning how to conduct experiments on my own. I was very passionate about this research since in the future I hope to become an optometrist and this research has the potential to evaluate treatments that I may prescribe to my patients in the future.