A senior at Troy High School in Detroit, Gayathri Kollipara, is the recipient of an immensely powerful and educational gift from assistant professor Christian Kreipke. Kreipke is employed as a cell biologist at Wayne State University’s medical school. In March, Kreipke began conducting a study on a new drug that may prove useful in the treatment of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). He invited Kollipara, whose long time dream has been to become a brain surgeon, to shadow him throughout the duration of his drug study.
The drug Kreipke was testing in animal trials is Clazosentan. It proved successful in the animal studies at preventing vasospasms blood vessel constrictions in the brain, which occur when the head has been impacted in an accident or other trauma.
Kollipara was extremely excited to have such a unique opportunity to observe up close the kinds of work she is looking forward to after another decade or so of schooling. She told theChicago Tribune that her father’s death of lung cancer two years ago cemented her lifelong wish to become a brain surgeon. She said it has always been her dream to go into the medical field, but she knew for certain she would pursue it after her father died.
Over the course of Kreipke’s Clazosentan study, Kollipara was able to observe the surgeries the scientist performed on lab animals. She was also enlisted to assist Kreipke in the behavioral study portion of the research to measure the effectiveness of the novel drug.
Kreipke reported to the Tribune that he had a lot of trouble choosing a major and a career path – he changed his major seven times before completing his studies – so he was more than happy to grant Kollipara the chance to witness his research, since she knew exactly what career path she wanted to pursue, even at such a young age.
While other high schoolers go out partying or searching for minimum wage jobs, Kollipara was granted the opportunity to get a head start on her way to her dream career as a neurosurgeon.
(pic from ucdmc.ucdavis.edu)