Aymee Lewis

Internship to help improve internal health

A summer science project helping sufferers of Crohn's disease has boosted the research credentials of one budding scientist.

Aymee Lewis was a participant of Plant & Food Research's Summer Studentship programme, which gives industry experience to high-calibre tertiary students who may be considering a career as a scientist or industry professional.

"Crohn's disease is a horrible inflammatory bowel disease and current treatments can have a range of side effects."

"Improving how the disease is treated for children and improving rates of remission will greatly benefit the lifestyles of these children."

Aymee's work formed part of a larger project undertaken by Plant & Food Research to examine how the profile of gut microbiota may be improved to reduce the effects of inflammatory bowel disease through enteral nutrition and curcumin, a bright yellow naturally occurring plant compound.

"My work in the project has involved literature reviews to establish the specific information needed for the project, laboratory experiments which simulate gastro-intestinal digestion, and the analysis of test results. There's been a great variety of tasks," says Aymee.

Aymee has recently completed a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in microbiology from Massey University.

"When I saw the position advertised I applied straight away. I was completely hooked by the research topic. Not only has it been a great opportunity to contribute to helping children with Crohn's disease, I've learnt many new skills, which I will use in my future science career. 

"It's been 100 percent useful, and has opened my eyes to the wonders that science can provide. It's strengthened my passion to pursue a career in medical and environmental microbiology."

Copyright © 2018 The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited