CRS Scientist Spotlight on Adebukola Fetuga
Adebukola Fetuga is an undergraduate student studying neuroscience at Northwestern. She received the Marcia L. Storch Scholarship for Undergraduate Women to study in Dr. Francesca Duncan's lab this summer.
Name: Adebukola Fetuga
Mentor: Dr. Francesca Duncan
Project title: Investigating the Effect of Age and Caloric Restriction on Follicle Number in Rhesus Macaque Ovaries
Can you tell us about yourself and your educational focus at Northwestern?
Hello, my name is Adebukola Fetuga and I am from Atlanta, GA! I am Nigerian and an upcoming sophomore in the Weinberg college at Northwestern. I am a Neuroscience major with a concentration in biological sciences. I am studying on the pre-medical track and I hope to go on to further my educational career after the undergraduate level.
Could you describe the research that you conducted this summer?
I have been studying the effect of age and caloric restriction in rhesus macaque ovaries. We received samples from the Oregon National Primate research center from Dr. Mary Zelinski. There were 4 experimental groups: a young control, young calorie restricted, old control, and old calorie restricted. Rebecca Gu and I spent the summer learning about ovarian follicles, counting a preliminary set of follicles, and creating a Rhesus macaque follicle counting guide for future use. The samples we counted were scanned into a computer program that allowed us to section and identify follicles and other interesting finds with unique pins. The findings were later counted and analyzed using graphs and tables. We have not finished counting all slides, but we have come up with a plan that will allow us to begin to see common trends as we go!
What has made the most lasting impression during your summer research internship?
We had a couple of lab excursions including the lab picnic and a summer volunteer potluck. I did not expect the experience to be so inclusive and warm. It didn’t feel like a random work lunch, but more like a group of friends hanging out and genuinely enjoying each other’s company. The fact that I was only a summer volunteer did not dampen the experience in the least. I got to talk to everyone and learn so much about everyone in a way that made the collaborative environment of the lab even more fun and comfortable. It was then that I realized that research and labs are not as strict as I thought it would be and your experience is what you make of it.
What aspect(s) of CRS do you find most valuable or look forward to engaging in?
I loved being in an actual research lab and seeing everyone working so hard on their projects. I got to see how much hard-work and dedication goes into each and every one of the papers that end up being published.
What are your future educational and career goals?
I aspire to go on to complete an MD-PhD program and to become an Obstetrics Gynecologist. I discovered a newfound love for the research aspect of the reproductive sciences. I hope to continue to participate in research labs that will continue to improve women’s health and revolutionize the field. I also have a passion for improving the medical care experience for women of color and increasing awareness on the health disparities we face.
What is one piece of advice you would give to young students in starting in their journey in science?
I would tell them to keep going no matter how hard or impossible the task in front of them may seem. If you find that you enjoy the STEM field, then pursue your dream with all that you have! Go out and look for different opportunities to gain exposure to STEM near you. Looking back, I can’t think of a single decision I regret when it came to pursuing my dream. Even though I still have a long way to go, I have faith that I can do anything that I put my heart into. STEM is all about thinking creatively and critically and your perspective is needed in this ever-growing field.
What hobbies do you have outside of the lab?
I love doing community service, cooking, reading, hiking, and exploring new places with friends and family! I also love watching movies and listening to music from my favorite artists.