The Office of Student Research is proud to feature Carrie Reaver in this week’s “Scholar Story”.

Carrie Reaver is a senior at Longwood University. She has a double major in Biology and Spanish and she also has minors in NeuroStudies and Chemistry. Her independent research project focused on investigating developmental stability using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. Her research focused what occurs when fruit flies are subjected to different metabolic conditions- for example a very sugary diet- and she measured how this affects their body symmetry during development. Research has “helped me to develop my critical thinking skills and has shown me how much I enjoy problem-solving in a lab environment.” She has already been able to apply the practical techniques she learned during external internships and summer jobs.

Carrie became involved with this research because “coming into college, I didn’t know how scientific research works - but I was very curious about how basic science could be used to understand human diseases. After meeting with Dr. Ludwar about the project during my freshman year, I became really interested in how we could use fruit flies to understand diabetes – I immediately knew that this project would be a great fit.”

Her favorite part of doing research has been “working alongside Dr. Ludwar who has been a tremendous mentor. He has helped me foster a passion for research and encourages me to learn new things every time I’m in the lab.” During her time working on this project Carrie has learned that “science can be really surprising – it rarely ever goes as planned – which is why it is important to be creative and resilient as a researcher.”

Carrie worked on this project with Dr. Bjoern Ludwar for a little over 3 years. Additionally, this project served as her year-long Senior Honors Research and it is now published in Longwood’s archives. Carrie also presented her research at two national conferences – the American Medical Student Association Research Conference in March of 2019 and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in March of 2021.

After graduation in May 2021, Carrie will be working as a Research Associate at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, while she prepares to attend medical school. In addition to her clinical practice as a physician, she hopes to become involved in translational research concerning neurodegenerative and neuroimmunological diseases in her future career.

Congratulations to Carrie on her successful research!


If you would like to have your research featured in a “Scholar Story”, or if you would like to learn more about getting involved in research at Longwood University, please visit Longwood’s Office of Student Research website

or contact Amorette Barber, Director of the Office of Student Research ( or