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Humans of Penn Nursing: Sheyenne Gillis, Nu’22

I had the pleasure of being accepted into the CHOP Research Institute Summer Scholars Program (CRISSP).

I am working with a postdoc studying hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) using a hypoxic ischemic mouse model in this neuroscience lab. (Yes, I am working with mice!)

HIE is a condition that happens to infants around the time of birth that results in significant brain injury and sometimes death. I have been doing bench research and animal research this summer which I never pictured myself doing as a nursing student.

I have learned how to be a mouse surgical assistant, run behavioral experiments with mice, sectioned very small (10 and 13 day old) mouse brains, mounted these brain sections onto slides, looked a lot into neonatal mouse seizures, and so much more.

The experience of working in a basic research lab has been so amazing and an opportunity I never thought I could achieve until I decided to branch outside of the “norm” of nursing research.

My lab was full of awesome pre-med undergrads and I felt interdisciplinary magic happening in lab every day.

Contributing to a field dedicated to expanding knowledge prior to discovering clinical cures, treatments, etc. has been a rewarding experience and I am so happy to continue in the Eisch Lab this fall at CHOP!

I can only hope that the contributions I have and will make in this lab not only contribute to the basic knowledge about HIE, but also pave the way for finding better treatments or, better yet, preventions for this condition.

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