My name is Austin Wininger. I am a first year medical student at the IUSM Indianapolis campus. I am from Northern California and received a B.S. in biochemistry from UCLA this past June. I am eager to begin orthopedic research in bone healing, as orthopedic surgery has always been an interest of mine. For as long as I can remember, I have been a sports fan. My favorite sport is baseball – I was even on the high school team. Once college started, I discovered my aptitude for chemistry and biology. Since I enjoy interacting with people, I thought the best way to combine my love for sports and science was to go to medical school.
During my last year at UCLA, I began my first research experience in a gene therapy lab that targeted the arginase gene. As I progressed through this research project, I began to really understand the clinical implications of my research and how my cell-based work related to patients. Working in Dr. Kacena’s lab is the perfect opportunity for me to continue exploring research and learn new lab techniques. I hope that the next couple years of medical school and research will help me better understand the process of hypothesizing a novel medical idea and testing the clinical application of the idea in a lab.
As I look through Dr. Kacena’s research focuses, I am interested in the cell-based work involving megakaryocyte growth factors and bone healing. The implications of this research could completely change the way surgeons repair large segmental bone defects, while eliminating the use of BMP and the associated increased risk of developing cancer.
I am excited to have started in Kacena’s lab this month and to learn more about the orthopedic research world.
Written by Austin Wininger
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.