FAU High School – Jupiter Campus, in Partnership with Max Planck Academy, Senior Research Journey: Satviki Singh
by Satviki Singh | Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021
My research journey technically began in the Fall 2019 semester as a sophomore, when I set out to compete in the Senior Microbiology Division of the Palm Beach County Science and Engineering Fair (2020).
I was inspired by the henna I was using to draw designs on my hand, which I had learned (through a YouTube video) was historically used as a skin cooling and antimicrobial agent, to make a henna extract-based antibacterial hydrogel scaffold under the guidance of Dr. Daniela Scheurle. After the fair, I presented my findings at the OURI Undergraduate Research Symposium (2020) right as lockdown began.
The following Fall (2020) semester, I joined a new lab at the Wilkes Honors College campus, led by Dr. Tanja Godenschwege, that focused on better understanding the effects of certain genetic mutations associated with neurological disorders and deformations, by using Drosophila as our primary model specimen. In this lab, I wrote my very first research grant for my project through the Research Methods 3 course, which I received and used on the project through the next Spring semester. I also presented the project at the OURI Undergraduate Research Symposium (2021). That year, I also continued my science project from the previous year with the help of Dr. Daniela Scheurle and Dr. Vivian Merk, but focused more on the materials study portion of the study, creating an antibacterial silver and chitosan based hydrogel to be used as a drug delivering wound dressing, for which I also entered the FAU WAVE program and presented my findings at the LSSF 3-MT Symposium. After some thought, I decided to change fields and go into engineering.
This past summer (2021), I continued to work on the hydrogel project, learning more about materials sciences and engineering in conjunction with Microbiology. As of the Fall semester (2021), I am continuing research in Dr. Merk’s lab on hydrogels and antibiotics and drug delivery methodology.