SPARTANBURG, S.C. – As a biology and computer science double major, Emily Moore, a rising Wofford College sophomore from Inman, S.C., is passionate about her summer research project because it combines two of her interests.
“What I love about this project is that I am not only doing biological research and learning about how the body responds to different diseases, but I also am learning about the computer programs that enable me to learn more about the disease,” Moore says.
Moore works with Dr. Stefanie Baker, professor of biology, on the project titled “Effects of Ebola Secreted Glycoprotein (sGP) on Dendritic Cells.” The project is an extension of Baker’s sabbatical research she is conducting in the Magnolia Research Center at VCOM-Carolinas, a short walk from Wofford’s campus.
Baker and Moore are determining whether secreted sGP plays a role in modulating the immune system’s response by interfering with function and maturation of dendritic cells, the cells that the Ebola virus attacks in the body. The Ebola virus is a rare and deadly disease in humans and animals marked by fever and severe internal bleeding with no known cure.
“Something that we have learned during this process is how up and down research can be,” Baker says. “One day you get great results, and another day nothing works the way you expected.”
Moore is grateful for the entire experience.
“Research is not only about learning about what you are researching, but also about learning who you are while you are participating in something that you are passionate about,” says Moore, who plans to pursue a career in scientific research when she graduates.
The Ebola research that Baker and Moore are conducting is part of a summer research cohort funded internally through Wofford’s faculty-student collaborative summer research program. The program provides 10 student-faculty teams with educational and mentoring opportunities.