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Inside the Lab: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Dickinson College

Research video image

Research video image

Research on inflammation is more timely than ever, and Dickinson's science labs aren't slowing down

Video by Joe O'Neill

With COVID-19 still dominating the headlines, labs around the world are working around the clock to develop vaccines and treatments. At Dickinson, the work in biochemistry & molecular biology research labs has continued as well, and a student-faculty team is currently exploring what’s at the heart of disease in the broadest sense.

“Inflammation is a component of every single disease,” says Tiffany Frey, associate professor of biology. “In fact, we see that even with COVID-19, inflammation is really what’s causing all the damage—it’s the body’s response to the infection.”

Through modeling of an autoinflammatory disease, the team seeks to understand how the disease’s mechanisms work in cells of the immune system.

“I think each experience is unique and different, as they are in different stages of my college career,” says one of the student researchers, Tao Xu ’21 (biochemistry & molecular biology)—who previously had an internship with the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care at the University of Alabama at Birmingham—noting that his hands-on, collaborative research experience is “one of Dickinson’s hallmarks of a useful education.”

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Published October 22, 2020