Undergrad Researcher Marcia-Ruth Ndege ’21 Overcomes Challenges, Finds Fulfillment

“Research can be stressful, frustrating, demanding, and even overwhelming in the beginning,” cautions undergraduate researcher Marcia-Ruth Ndege ’21.

“Even then, you should definitely stick around because, after the learning curve, you’ll experience so much fulfillment.”

Marcia-Ruth Ndege

Marcia-Ruth Ndege

Ndege is a junior majoring in biology (neuroscience specialization) in the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) honors program, with minors in Spanish Language and Literature, and Writing and Rhetoric. She joined the laboratory of Dr. Irene Solomon (Physiology & Biophysics) in the spring semester of her freshman year. Because her research protocols in the laboratory are an all-day affair, Marcia-Ruth was especially appreciative of the opportunity to do full-time research last summer, with the support of the Chhabra-URECA Fellowship, an award which annually recognizes an undergraduate researcher who has a passion and talent for science.

Her research projects involves using a drug, Fluoxetine, to see whether it can improve animals’ responses to hypoxia, and to see if it can restore neoplasticity in animals that have inflammation. She will present her findings at an upcoming Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego, California in April 2020. 

Executing my project was a real challenge at the beginning,” she said.  “I was essentially clueless at the start, but now I  fully understand my project. I’m happy with that progress and that I can see the way forward for where this project could go.”

At Stony Brook, Ndege serves as Treasurer of the WISE Student Leadership Council and is a USG Representative for WISE. She works in the Department of Neurobiology maintaining zebrafish colonies, and in the Department of Computer Science as a content creator. She has also served as a Teaching Assistant for the Undergraduate Biology office. Marcia-Ruth also volunteers with the Long Island State Veterans Home, and shadows the Chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Apostolos Tassiopoulos, MD.

 She aspires to be a physician scientist and is exploring MD/PhD programs for the future.

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