Michael Fraczek Explores Alternative Treatments for Allergic Asthma as Sophomore at Rose-Hulman

Linda Rider

Michael Fraczek, a sophomore majoring in biology, has been invested in the research of microbiology from a quite younger age. When the Anchorage, Alaska native was 5 yrs aged, he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a exceptional autoimmune dysfunction that attacks a person’s individual immune technique and results in muscle weakness. After suffering from paralysis, Fraczek was in the clinic for six times and obtained infusion therapy solutions. Although the ordeal was scary, it is also what began his desire in immunology.

“It was actually interesting that my immune system was so fantastic and then it all of a sudden started out attacking by itself,” says Fraczek, a member of the Noblitt Students Plan. “So often, in the again of my brain, I would feel, what if I could assist make solutions that would assistance an individual who has MS or Parkinson’s Sickness … and I can assist make someone’s lifetime better, make their high quality of lifestyle far better.” 

When Fraczek was in substantial school, he attended a exploration science internship by way of MIT where he met Dr. John Rickert, professor of mathematics at Rose-Hulman. Rickert advised he look at Rose when making use of to college or university. Fraczek needed to go to a tiny faculty with substantial-high-quality investigate prospects for undergraduates. Immediately after learning additional about Rose, he knew it was the ideal choice to research molecular biology and gain practical experience in investigation.

Though only a sophomore, Fraczek conducts analysis that explores the use of antibody fragment proteins as an choice to existing therapies for allergic asthma. Under the direction of Dr. Stephanie Hill, assistant professor of biology and biomedical engineering, Fraczek examines how to change the molecular construction of a extended-time period medication to take care of allergic bronchial asthma and make that treatment a lot more successful and expense-effective.

“One way we can address allergic bronchial asthma in really serious conditions is with a drug, but the draw back is you have to retain using it for the reason that your system will continually build that allergic response if it does not have it,” says Fraczek. “My research is seeking at how we can enhance the sustainability of this previously-present excellent drug by tweaking it molecularly … and as a end result, you don’t have to retain getting it. You acquire it once, or a number of instances, and then it stays in your procedure.”

The strategy of modifying a drug at a molecular amount to produce a superior substitute is usually utilised in the generation of amino therapies for cancer cure. It requires engineering the immune cells so the procedure stays in the system and proliferates. Fraczek is combining this novel method to molecular drugs with what’s now existing in present allergic bronchial asthma cure.

Fraczek sought the steerage of Hill, who conducts related analysis with protein engineering, at the stop of his very first 12 months at Rose. He familiarized himself with her lab and procedures to comfortably function on the venture in the course of the summer season immediately after his very first yr and in the course of his sophomore 12 months. The process has been an outstanding mastering expertise and foray into investigation, he says. With respect to functioning with Hill, Fraczek was thrilled to have a mentor he could find out from and assistance guideline his understanding experience.  

“I realized so considerably about carrying out independent study and the capabilities demanded with managing a lab and lab notebook,” says Fraczek. “All these things that, for a person who would like to go to graduate school, are genuinely quite valuable. … I know that if I had absent to a faculty other than Rose, like a big exploration college, I would not be performing a undertaking like this. The area to do unbiased investigation at Rose is rather astounding.”

Outdoors of researching in the lab and attending classes, Fraczek is involved in quite a few place of campus existence. He is the sophomore advisor at Scharpenberg Corridor and helps initially-year learners transition to faculty by assisting them build a community in the hall and on campus. He also functions with the Safe Zone Task to come to be a accredited trainer to aid pupils and leaders study how to be LGBTQ+ allies in the campus community.

Fraczek encourages prospective learners not to forget about biology at Rose-Hulman. “The biology big truly will allow you to have entry to the campus labs pretty quickly, and you’ll have the opportunity to encounter investigate as an undergraduate,” he claims. “Rose has the amenities and school who want do that for you and will guidebook you as a result of your finding out approach.”

Right after Fraczek graduates from school, he ideas to go to graduate school and receive a Ph.D. in both molecular biology, immunology or connected subject. He hopes to function at a investigation healthcare facility or in a study lab, most very likely in the industry of most cancers or autoimmune issues. 

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