With the University of Florida allowing students to return to campus, our undergraduate students hit the ground running to complete their studies, resume their research, and graduate at the end of the Spring Term. While this was a time to celebrate being back together on campus, our undergraduate students had to stay vigilant and take necessary safety precautions to take care of themselves and each other. These students were not only able to adapt to the ever-changing COVID-19 protocols, but they made significant contributions to advancing research in the Sharma Lab. In fact, we had three students successfully defend their senior thesis and presented their work at the UF BME Undergraduate Research Day. Arjun Panicker presented his research on “Mechanisms of Manganese Dioxide Nanoparticle Uptake and Retention for Chondroprotection,” Chelsea Rosen presented her research on “Characterization of Polymer-Based Magnetic Nanoparticle System for In Vivo Joint Trafficking,” and Joseph Soto presented his research on “Characterization of Tumor Hypoxia in Hydrogel Encapsulated Spheroids.” Jade White also presented her research at a poster symposium on “Targeted Nanoparticle Delivery for Osteoarthritic Cartilage.”
The Sharma Lab celebrated our undergraduate’s success with breakfast on the Sun Terrace where we laughed over funny memories and admired the growth these students displayed. While we will certainly miss their presence in lab, we are excited about the future endeavors that await each one of them! A huge congratulations to Matthew Rexroad who will be staying in the Sharma Lab to complete his Master’s degree, Arjun Panicker who will also be staying in the Sharma Lab to continue his research during his gap year while applying to medical school, Chelsea Rosen who is starting medical school at UF, Jade White who is pursuing a PhD at the University of Oregon, and Joseph Soto who is pursuing a career following his degree.
Congratulations to each of you! We cannot wait to hear about your successes in the future and are looking forward to keeping a few of you around for a couple more years!