By participating in undergraduate research, I have benefited in many ways. I have become more independent, I have had to learn how to troubleshoot and problem solve on my own. I have made so many good connections and met a lot of interesting people by participating in research. More specifically, I enjoyed presenting at Wayne State University's Pediatrics Day because I was surrounded by so many amazing doctors and have them be genuinely interested in the work I was doing.
Buckley's research project focuses on the IRF6 gene, which is involved with tissue development, specifically in the hands and face. Mutations in the IRF6 gene can cause Van der Woude Syndrome, which is a syndromic form of cleft lip and palate characterized by lower lip pits. Buckley looked at the prevalence of mutations in the IRF6 genes in control databases versus mutations found in populations that had Van der Woude Syndrome. She aimed to see which mutations were likely to be disease-causing, and which mutations were found in both populations.