Studying cell and molecular biology and graduating with her bachelor’s degree in May 2021 and her master’s degree in August 2022 from Missouri State University, Emma Wise has only continued to move onward and upward.
Positive MoState memories
For the first few years of college, Wise was a flute and piccolo player for the MSU Pride Marching Band. She had a wonderful experience and met a lot of great people through the music program.
In her free time and while studying, Wise loved to spend time on campus.
“I always enjoyed the fountain and the hammock stations. One of my all-time favorite spots to relax was behind the Plaster Student Union, especially in the spring when the trees are in bloom.”
Oodles of hands-on research
Because MSU allows undergraduate students to participate in research, Wise learned proper lab etiquette, how to operate complex equipment and how to properly analyze results.
Wise started volunteering in Dr. Amy Hulme’s lab in 2019 where they investigated the early steps of HIV-1 replication. Wise continued this research when she transitioned to working on her master’s degree — finally completing her thesis on how the cellular factor Cyclophilin-A interacts with HIV-1.
“Missouri State fully prepared me for my current position,” she said. “Participating in real research early on in my academic career helped me gain the skills I use every day in my current profession.”
Life in the Anderson Lab
The lab’s current project involves studying how specific wavelengths of red light can affect muscle endurance. To do this, Wise treats muscle cells with light and then ‘exercises’ them using electric pulse stimulation to make them contract.
After the exercise regimen, she analyzes different cellular byproducts, such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) or lactate, to see what effect the light has on exercising cells.
Recently, red light therapy is being considered for patients to help with blood flow and skin conditions, as well as to relieve muscle pain. Wise loves learning exactly how this light can affect the body at a cellular level.
“I’m enjoying my time at MGH and learning a lot from the Anderson Lab, as well as the other labs at the Wellman Center.”
Wise hopes to continue her education and become a research fellow — that way she can conduct her own research on any topic. For the time being, she’s content with exploring the research world and learning more about cell biology.