This post was originally published on October 17, 2016.
Ciara Smith is a biology major from Lewisville, Ohio, who spent the summer on campus as a Muskie Fellow.
Ciara attended the Majors Fair offered on campus her freshman year, where she declared a biology major and began to work with Dr. Amy Santas as an advisee. She met regularly with Dr. Santas throughout her freshman year to discuss her future plans.
“My persistence was a benefit,” Ciara remarks, “as she asked med to join her research team throughout the semester. This soon developed into a summer full of research and positive experiences.”
Ciara explains the research that she conducted with Dr. Santas: [We] studied the dystroglycan complex in the epidermis. Specifically, there are two accepted skin adhesions, focal adhesions and hemidesmosomes, but we suggest that there is likely a third adhesions involving the dystroglycan complex of proteins. The amount of dystroglycan in aggressive cancers are very low. Therefore, there is change happening that we are not able to detect until we understand what normal is.”
Ciara plans to attend medical school after graduating, and is confident that her summer experience will help her to form a thorough and competitive application.
On campus, Ciara is involved in Lambda Sigma, the sophomore honorary, and Beta Beta Beta, the biology honorary. She is also active in the Pre-Health Club and works in the biology lab.
“At Muskingum, I am most thankful for the one-on- one relationships I have with my professors and advisors. They create an environment in which I can learn and strive to be successful, while having fun,” Ciara says.