Andria Slaughter

Health disco OG image
Andria Slaughter

Andria Slaughter

Health disco academic program
Pre-Health | Nutrition
healthy disco cohort year

Research Reflection

Hello! My name is Andria Slaughter, and I am a pre-med biology student at Oregon State University. Throughout this project, I started with one idea, which led into another, and so on until I got to my final project concept of protein function in space.  

Andria Slaughter

To explain, I was doing research within the Dallas Lab focused on protein bioactivity in bovine milk samples when a NASA conference opportunity struck my eye. Once I got the go-ahead to pursue this conference, I started looking for ways to make the work I was doing fit under the realm of proteins, while being of importance to space, therefore leading to my final project. The flexibility and support that I received throughout my experience within URSA Engage and the Healthy Discoveries program were wonderful. In the end, I was able to research a topic that I am extremely passionate about, which made my project and experience better.


Although changing topics and switching gears was difficult at times, these changes meant that I got to experience both sides of research. With the bovine milk studies I was doing, I started with in-lab experiments such as BCA ASSAY, ELISA and in-vitro digestion to understand the elements of protein processing throughout the body. From there, I did a literature analysis to develop a 10-page white paper and presentation on how the processes of protein digestion and interactions are altered during space travel.  

Andria Slaughter

By having the ability to work on elements of this project within a lab and learn the important elements of literature review, I feel that I am able to serve as a well-rounded undergraduate researcher and plan to continue working in the Dallas Lab. As I continue my undergraduate career, I hope to look further into connecting human health and space studies within my research and possibly work on protein product development for space as I understand even more about these processes.

research poster

Why did you choose the College of Health at OSU to pursue your studies?

I chose the College of Health at Oregon State, due to my strong interest in health care and the numerous research opportunities available to extend my understanding of the human body and how it functions.  

What sparked your interest in health?

The health field is one that has been able to check all of my boxes in what I'm looking for in a career path. That includes stability, the ability to help others in their most vulnerable times and an exciting, dynamic work environment. In addition to lived experiences, care-taking for family members and loved ones has driven my passion for this field.

What research will you be working on and with whom?

The research that I am involved in is within the Dallas Lab, studying whey isolate protein peptides in adult humans through in vitro digestion, in combination with a NASA sponsored project comparing these results to those seen in zero gravity.

What are your future career and/or academic plans?

With all that I gain from my time at OSU, I plan to attend medical school and later work as a pediatric surgeon.

Please feel free to reach out to me ([email protected]) with any questions on your path through the College of Health or other opportunities in the health field. I'm more than happy to assist to the best of my ability.


The Healthy Discoveries undergraduate research program is made possible with the generous support of the Patricia Valian Reser Fund for Experiential Learning.