Performing Scientific Research Through Zoom
Steven Soli ’22, Cary, Illinois
I joined a virtual research team at King’s College Hospital Clinical Biochemistry and Pathology (London, England). Previous research had found a possible correlation between BMI and Covid-19 infection severity. We examined whether patient BMI affected Covid-19 infection severity. Furthermore, we examined if BMI increased or decreased infection severity. I interpreted data gathered by hospital staff on BMI, age, gender, Intensive Care Unit need, days in hospital, and if the patient died in the hospital or shortly after discharge. Patients were categorized using BMI as Normal (BMI less than 30), Obese (BMI range 30 to 39), and Morbid Obese (BMI greater than 40). Initial evaluations were performed using mean, standard deviation, and confidence intervals. Further analyses were completed using nonparametric statistical tests. We found that BMI affected Covid-19 infection severity. Morbid Obese patients had the highest chance of hospitalization but not death. We also found that the mean age for the Morbid Obese patients was the youngest of all categories. We recommend further exploration of this relationship.
My remote internship was done through CAPA International, which placed me with the Clinical Biochemistry and Pathology team at King’s College Hospital in London, England. I overcame my initial nervousness by actively communicating with the instructors, site, and regional advisors. Communication involved email chains and periodic Zoom meetings. As an intern, I found that one must go by the supervisor’s schedule, which entailed meetings at 4 and 6 am, requiring diligence and maintenance of a strict schedule. I learned about cultural intelligence and also developed my professional portfolio through mock interviews and classes. The biggest takeaway from this internship was learning how to tell my experiences and what I’ve gained as an interesting story.