BIO 299: Creative Inquiry of Microbiome Intervention for Inflammatory and Neurological Conditions Common in Geriatric Care

Professor: Dr. Jeffrey Cox

Patricia “Trish” Alden

Greenville Technical College’s Creative Inquiry opportunity is allowing me to take my classroom experience to the next level. When first considering attending school at 33, my original focus was on quick entry into professional training programs. I soon found myself immersed in the world of science in a way I had been unable to fully enjoy in my childhood, and GTC’s course offerings gave me seemingly unlimited access to knowledge. In finishing my Microbiology course, I left feeling confident in my ability to better understand diseases, immunity, prevention, and treatment methods as well as getting to peek into the future of medicine. But I also left with a handful of questions
that the course did not have time to consider, as Microbiology encompasses a vast world that we are only now beginning to discover and learn to work alongside. In the study of the human microbiome, I wanted to know more about how we are using our microbes in a positive way to treat illnesses and support our development.

My personal focus is on Gerontology as I graduate from GTC with two degrees this year and apply to nursing school next year. I was able to ask my professor from the previous semester if looking into how our microbiome effects the aging process would be viable. We were able to focus my intent and bring to committee an exciting concept:
what research is being conducted on harnessing the human microbiome for successful aging, and how is it being implemented in care? This literature review and discussion with the medical community will give me the opportunity to present findings to the Student Scholar Showcase that bring attention to the possibilities of living longer, healthier lives alongside the trillions of microbes that live in and around us.