Class Year: 2016
Internship Placement: I am a research intern at the Center for Translational Medicine at Jefferson University.
What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going:
This summer I got an internship at Jefferson University Hospital’s Center for Translational Medicine. My primary investigator, Glenn Radice’s research focuses on cadherins in cardiomyocytes (cardiac muscle cells). Cadherins are calcium dependent cell adhesion molecules that bind cells together. We are doing experiments on mice to better understand the role of cadherins in cardiomyocyte proliferation, which could help us better treat heart disease.
My job is to maintain the mouse colony, collect tail samples, and use them to genotype the mice with polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We have a large variety of mouse lines, all with different mutations affecting the gap junction between cells; and keeping up with genotyping is crucial for maintaining the lines. Over the course of this past month I’ve become more confident in my laboratory skills and have developed a good relationship with my PI and the two women working in the lab. As my first official laboratory job, this has been a positive growing experience.
How did I hear about my internship:
I was actually referred to Dr. Radice by my molecular biology professor, Tamara Davis, after telling her I was searching for lab internships in Philadelphia. Bryn Mawr is really great at hooking students up with internships, jobs, and other career building opportunities.
Why I applied for my internship:
I will be applying to medical school this coming year, and before this internship, I did not have any official research experience. Beyond being able to check the research box on my application, I wanted a deeper understanding of laboratory work in case I decide to pursue a research project in medical school or as part of my career. As of now I’m leaning more towards clinical work than research, but I don’t want to close any doors in case I change my mind. Additionally, Dr. Radice’s research piqued my interest because it’s applicable to real-world human diseases and has the potential to strengthen our knowledge of how to treat different heart conditions. That is why, if I do go into research, it will be translational medicine because the research projects that interest me the most are those that are directly applicable to human disease.