Godino Kalungi

Major: Biochemistry, minor in Actuarial Science
Topic: Development of a mask which will be used for delivering Capsaicin doses
Faculty Mentor:

Dr. Tony Borgerding

Coughing is a defense mechanism which we naturally have. In normal situations, a personal is able to cough. However some patients cannot cough because their cough mechanism is damaged. My project was to analyze capsaicin samples using HPLC technique. The quantitative results from this analysis are being used for the development of a mask which will be used for delivering capsaicin doses to children patients without hurting them. Delivering of capsaicin to the patients will initiate a cough to solve problems they face because of having damaged cough mechanisms.

What was your favorite part of the project?

My favorite part was seeing results coming out as I had expected. As a group, it always made us smile when we got positive results in our lab. I mean, I spent a lot of time trying out everything to increase the detection limit for my analysis. That way I could provide a big range over witch different capsaicin doses could be administered to patients.  Finally I got it; I produced standard curves with R-values of 1 which I used to analyze other samples of up to 0.0001M capsaicin. This was the highlight of my research.

Why did you choose St. Thomas?

I chose St. Thomas because I wanted to go to a college which could give me both theoretical and practical skills to be able to change medicine back home in Uganda. I wanted to have the skills to diagnose different kinds of illnesses, but I also I needed the skills to work with other people, regardless of culture and personality. I needed skills to be able to think beyond my comfort zone, and skills to come up with new ways of approaching medicine. I knew I would get this foundation from St. Thomas basing on the available resources on campus. These resources include small class sizes, dedicated faculty and stuff, carrier guidance, and student mentorship programs e.tc. Truly, St. Thomas has given me a very strong foundation to be able to face the challenging world we live in today.

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