For MS Biotechnology student, Ashley Valdivia, doing research has become personal. Ashley's mother is suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and she is devoting her current school research project to finding a way for her mother to become pain-free and manage her symptoms.

When Ashley discovered that the MS Biotechnology program offered a class that would allow her the opportunity to do her own study of this disease, she felt she had to take it. Ashley reflected, “Seeing her in pain . . . every day when I go home and thinking about it at work . . . I can’t stand back any more. So, I decided to take the first small step in finding a way to help her . . . even if only a little.”

Her research this fall semester will include testing of anti-inflammatory drugs like Tecfidera® on human neuron cells diagnosed with encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) as a cellular model for MS. Ashley plans to compare the effects of synthetic drugs to natural substances like turmeric, which has been known to work as a natural anti-inflammatory and is documented to have a crucial role in treating the signal pathways that MS effects.

Ashley said, “The findings are vague, but she’s my family and if this path has the opportunity to discover something new, then I’ll take that chance."

For more information on the MS Biotechnology program.

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