There’s no Place Like Toll

Junior Eshan Patel, sophomore Jimmy Comotto and Dr. Reynolds examine the results of a test blot.
By Aubrey Hastings
Student Life Editor

Junior Eshan Patel spent the summer in one of his homes away from home, the Toll Science Center. Patel was one of two students working in Professor Mindy Reynolds’ biology research lab. Here they spent their time investigating occupation levels of environmental toxins on human lung cells, specifically cobalt and nickel. “You can do something in a small laboratory setting at WC and still impact the world. You are writing a paper that people are going to read and reference so you need to make sure that what you are presenting is valid,” said Patel.

This study could eventually lead to pharmaceutical intervention and other therapies for exposure to heavy metals. This is a very important study indeed, as we are all exposed to toxins either environmentally or occupationally. “Batteries, stainless steel products, magnets, car engines, pigments, environmental waste in the environment are all potential exposure to toxins for humans,” said Patel.

The students in Dr. Reynolds lab learn vital skills to not only lab techniques, but in questioning the world around them, skills crucial for the future of all of her students. “The research we did at WC is comparable to the research that is done at larger research institutions. We may not have several labs and tons of funding, but we have sufficient resources to get it done. If there’s something you want to do at WC, a professor will help make it happen, and that’s what I love about the WC community,” said Patel.

Dr. Reynolds will be continuing the research on these experiments while she is on sabbatical this Fall and will be publishing the research soon afterwards.

“I had a great time working in Toll over the summer. I learned so much from Dr. Reynolds. It was nice to able to apply the concepts and lab skills I have learned in real research. Dr. Reynolds helped me every step of the way and we obtained great results,” said Patel.

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