Joanna Harper
My name is Joanna Harper. I am 17 years old, and I am a rising senior at Boston Latin Academy.
Some of my favorite things to do are to play soccer, hang out with friends, and watch really old movies.
For me, science has always been the subject that I feel the most challenged in, and the subject that I am
the most interested in. I have taken almost every science course possible at my high school,
not only because they are fun, but because they are challenging, in an exciting way.
This summer I have the privilege of working in the ophthalmology department of the Massachusetts Eye
and Ear Infirmary under Dr. Clint Makino.
Dr. Makino is currently performing
research on tiger salamander retinas and is testing retina's under different
scenarios to possibly gain insight on how to prevent or treat retinal deterioration.
This summer, I got to perform an experiment to test whether d-cysteine had an effect on the salamander rod.
It is known that cysteine causes a
deterioration of the innermost
three layers of the retina, which in turn could cause the retina to detach from the back of the eye.
In my experiment, I isolated one rod from a salamander eye and recorded the circulating current with a suction
electrode in order to measure the current of the ions flowing through the cell.
I measured the cell under four conditions, including under d-cysteine.