Eriq is a transfer premed student, majoring in Global Health B.S., with a minor in General Biology. Eriq began to work with the UCSD Shiley Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) in April of 2019. He has since completed his field experience requirement and is expected to conclude his research work in the Spring of 2020.
Eric’s work at the research center primarily consists of entering the data from the participant visits. After the coordinators and psychometrists conduct the tests, he enters the data into the San Diego Supercomputer database so that it may be accessed by the national research community. Eric was also tasked with referral tracking between the research center and various outside studies.
Eric found that the largest challenges he initially faced were time management and developing training protocols although he has since found a nice balance and routine to help him manage these daily responsibilities.
Through his work at the ADRC, he has been able to acquire experience and knowledge about the clinical research community and its processes.
“I was able to socialize with my coworkers, mainly the psychometrists and coordinators. This was helpful because it gave me a greater understanding about the bigger picture, without only considering my piece of the puzzle.”
He believes that these working relationships will present him with invaluable networking opportunities in the future.
Eric also notes that a large aspect of his Global Health studies have to do with social disparities and the underserved communities of the world. Although the research center focuses on American communities, he mentions that they are working to expand their work to consider the underrepresented minorities in the country, and this is a positive step toward an all-inclusive healthcare system.
“I am looking to apply to medical school and my time at the research center has provided much needed exposure into the research community.”
Eric recommends this field experience opportunity to any other Global Health Program students who are interested in gaining research experience. He notes that the largest benefit of working with the ADRC is that many of these positions are paid, an added benefit.
ADRC conducts a wide variety of research studies dedicated to understanding the causes, clinical features, and treatments for Alzheimer's disease and related memory disorders. Their goal is to discover ways to prevent and ultimately eradicate this disease. As part of the Alzheimer's Disease Center's Research Program through the National Institute on Aging, they are one of 32 university-based sites funded to collect and contribute data to the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center to facilitate collaborative research. The UCSD Shiley-Marcos ADRC annually follows approximately 350 seniors with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia, and 150 age-matched participants with no memory problems. For more info on how you can get involved, click here!