Olivia Pike

Researching different therapeutics in current clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer’s
Student, Biology
Tell us a little about yourself and your research project.

I am a fourth-year undergraduate student at UNCC, with a major in biology and a minor in psychology. My research project is not traditional bench/lab work, it has consisted of online research into clinical trials for Alzheimer’s Disease. I have been researching different therapeutics in current clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer’s.

How did you first find out about undergraduate research opportunities at UNC Charlotte?

I joined the Honors Biology program in fall 2019 and had to find a research mentor/team to join per the program requirements. I found Dr. Funk by way of the UNC Charlotte Biology website, met with her and knew it would be a perfect fit.

How has your research experience prepared you for your next goals or career?

I am starting law school this fall, which will entail a multitude of reading and writing. My entire research project has been centered around finding clinical trial literature, reading, analyzing, and now writing my thesis surrounding hundreds of trials. This will aid in my ability to handle the amount of reading and writing that is required in law school. As well, my robust research skills will aid in future legal research I will be conducting.

What advice would you give students who are interested in pursuing undergraduate research and what would you say to a student who says, "research is not for me"?

For those interested in pursuing research, I would encourage meeting and speaking with a variety of faculty and finding the perfect spot and research project for you. For those that think “research isn’t for them”, I would encourage still seeking out opportunities, because there are many variations of research. As my project shows, you do not have to conduct traditional bench/lab work to be considered researching. I would stress the importance of communicating with faculty of what you are looking for and someone may have an opportunity. As well, I want to stress that you do not have to want to pursue a medical or biology-related future in order to join a research lab.

What is one thing that you learned about yourself from this research experience?

I have learned a variety of research skills that will aid in my future legal career. As well, being self-disciplined and setting writing goals have become a norm for me throughout my research project.