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Her Research is Just the Beginning

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"The professors are amazing. They know your name and their door is always open."

Rising junior Tai-Symone Rackley spent the summer working in Biology Professor Ken Wallace’s lab.  Rackley worked on research related to the 5HT4 receptor, which binds serotonin to increase mixing in the intestines and aid digestion. Drugs that specifically bind the 5HT4 receptor to increase gut motility have been recalled from the market due to troubling side effects. Rackley and her fellow students are characterizing the receptor and action in the gut of zebrafish. If the zebrafish system has similar action to humans then it could eventually be used in drug testing. 

Outside of the lab, Rackley is busy with a full load of classes, clubs and volunteer activities that reflect her interests and ambition to go into medicine. She is president of SPECTRUM, a member of the Clarkson student chapter of Doctors Without Borders and is a volunteer with the Potsdam Rescue Squad and at Canton-Potsdam Hospital.

"I belong here," she says. "The programs are challenging and are designed to push you to be the best you can be. There are great support systems. I’ve learned to be much more confident."

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Tai-Symone Rackley ’15 — Biology, Psychology double major, Cognitive Neuroscience (minor), Pre-Med and C-Step Research Scholar