BIO 299 Research in the Biological Sciences

Student: Jacob Cook

Professor: Kathy Maples

My name is Jacob Cook and I am a student at Greenville Tech. Several years ago I graduated from the Greenville Tech EMS program and I worked on the ambulance at Spartanburg EMS until I moved to Asheville, where I worked in an urgent care. I recently moved back to Greenville, and I hope to continue working in EMS while I apply for admission into the nursing program.

In winter 2020, Dr Edwards invited me to do a Creative Inquiry project for the Spring 2021 semester, and I accepted the offer. I will research relationships between stress and immunity in nursing students. I chose this topic for several reasons. For one, this is a way to bring together, in an academic project, my interest in the immune system and my plans to go into the nursing profession. My interest in the study of the immune system started in microbiology class. I was amazed by the ways the immune system defends the host against threats. Immunity among individuals is very complex, precise, and powerful. It is deeply integrated into all the body’s systems and the DNA. It even functions at the population level to ensure some people will be able to mount an immune response to novel pathogens.

Stress is the other part of this project. I feel like it is something everyone experiences. Everyone talks about stress or being “stressed out” but this is nonspecific and sometimes confusing. It is commonly discussed as having some connection to illness. I want to know more about exactly what stress is and how it affects the immune system that helps keep us all healthy. As someone already in a medical profession I am interested in understanding more about health and illness. I want to study this in nursing students in particular because I am working to become one.

In my project I will gather research papers on various topics related to stress and immunity in nursing students and compile the data and conclusions into an oral presentation. Some of the topics I will discuss are: the types of stress and how they are measured. The immune responses to types of stress or stressors. Any relationships that exist between the immune system, stress, and cognition. The similarities and differences between non-nursing student and nursing student stress and immunity. Questions around good stress versus bad stress. Finally, researchers’ recommendations for further study and clinical practice.

Jacob Cook