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2013 Miller Internship Award Recipients

May 15, 2013

Alena Borgatti

Hi!  My name is Alena, and I’ll be graduating in December of 2013.  I’m a psychology major, with an interest in abnormal and clinical psychology. I’m originally from Seattle, but I love living in Portland! This summer, I will be working at the ADHD research lab under Dr. Joel Nigg.  I will be trained as a physio assistant, helping to conduct child physiological readings and computerized tasks, administering  child and parent cognitive tests, and performing other duties associated with the lab.  I will be also helping with data entry and scoring.  This is a great opportunity for me because it will allow me to engage with and learn about how large-scale research studies are conducted.

Kaite Brennan

My name is Katie Brennan and I just graduated from Lewis and Clark College as a Mathematics and Physics major. This summer I will be an education intern at OMSI where I will be interacting with visitors of the museum and performing scientific demonstrations. I am extremely excited to get the chance to share what I’ve learned over the last four years with the greater Portland community as well as to gain insight into science education for all ages.

Sophia Dagnello

Hi! I’m Sophia Dagnello, a rising senior with a unique double major in Biology and Studio Art. Having always balanced my artistic aspirations (I also have played the harp since I was 5 years old) with my love for science, I developed my own internship this summer to gain practical experience as a medical illustrator. Specifically, I will be responsible for producing scientific and medical illustrations on several human organ systems for the School of Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University. These medical illustrations will be derived from observed cadaver dissections performed by OHSU’s Professor Gary Ciment and Dr. Sylvia Nelsen with the goal to produce gross anatomy teaching material for the School of Medicine. Through this internship at OHSU, I hope to gain substantial practical experience as a medical illustrator and to create a portfolio of my work to show to potential graduate schools and to future scientific and medical clients. I am extremely grateful to have chosen Lewis & Clark College for my studies – a true college of arts and sciences where I have been supported in the exploration and pursuit of my passions.

Massarra Eiwaz

I am a raising senior Psychology major originally from Baghdad, Iraq. I deeply believe that the discipline of counseling can learn from advances in neuroscience and I hope that my passion for both disciplines will allow me to become an effective counselor in the future. I have been a research assistant for two years in Dr. Jacob’s Behavioral Neuroscience Lab at OHSU. I had the opportunity to work with animals and human subjects, but I always found myself more interested in the human research. So this summer I will be working in the same lab with Dr. Jacob, but I am going to work on a project that will generate a cancer registry database by combining existing cognitive testing records for the last 10 years and records of new/incoming cancer patients with genotyping data, based on genetic consent and apoE genotyping. In humans, there are three forms of apolipoprotein (apo) E – apoE2, 3, and 4. These proteins are involved in cholesterol metabolism throughout the body and the brain. Compared with apoE2 and apoE3, apoE4 increases the risk of learning and memory impairments and of developing cardiovascular disease. I will engage in entering genotyping information, analyzing the data to determine the role of apoE genotype in the occurrence and severity of radiation-induced side effects, I will be recruit participants for interviews and perform cognitive testing on them. This internship will allow me to become more confident to be around patients and will also allow me develop a better understanding of how to diagnose and improve a patient’s well-being using cognitive testing. I am so excited to be a part of this big research; especially that very limited numbers of researchers in the world are working on this research subject.

Ashley Ermann

Hi, I’m Ashley, a rising senior majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology. This summer I am excited to have the opportunity to be an intern in Dr. Andrey Ryabinin’s lab in the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience at Oregon Health and Sciences University. The lab is currently investigating what role stress proteins play in alcohol addiction using mice as a model organism. In addition to participating in the behavioral and biological neuroscience research in Dr. Ryabinin’s lab, I will attend weekly lab meetings to discuss data and related scientific articles, and I will have the opportunity to attend lectures from visiting national and international neuroscience researchers. I am very thankful to Lewis & Clark for providing me with the opportunity to pursue this internship!

Devin Hoover

I am a rising junior psychology major here at Lewis & Clark College. That being said, I have had the opportunity to take many classes outside of my major due to my pre-medical intentions. Through my classes I have developed a love for neuroscience, and hope to declare the school’s neuroscience minor as soon as it is ready. I have found that neuroscience helps me to concretely explain and understand the people around me and how we all experience life. This summer I will have the opportunity to put what I have learned to good use assisting in neuroscience research at Oregon Health & Science University in a developmental brain imaging lab. The lab I will be working is examining how having a family history of alcoholism effects decision making of adolescents. This summer I will be working with MRIs, as well as working with patients in a clinical psychology setting working to better understand the brain. It is my hope that this experience will prepare me for future research, and medical school on the horizon.

Emerald Kaitryn

Instead of heading back home to Anchorage, Alaska this summer I have the opportunity to work at OHSU and research Parkinson’s Disease! I’m a psychology major, with a pre-med focus, and also hopefully a neuroscience minor. For my internship I will be tracking the build-up of phosphorylated alpha-synuclein protein in mouse models using fluorescence microscopy and antibody staining techniques. This research is very important to me, not only for nourishing my growing passion for neuroscience, but also because several members of my family have struggled with PD. Seeing the progression of their disease makes me even more motivated to make a personal impact on PD research. Without the Miller Internship Award there is no way I would have been able to pursue this opportunity, thank you so much!

Coby Moss

My name is Coby Moss and I am a rising Senior at Lewis & Clark College. I  plan to graduate as a Psychology major with a focus on Neuro-psychology in May 2014. For the second summer in a row, I will be an intern at Stanford University in the  Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. I will be working in Dr. Karen Parker’s lab under the supervision of Dr. Dean Carson in a study on Autism. The focus of their research is to test the affect that Oxytocin, a neuropeptide sometimes referred to as the “love hormone,” has on prosocial behavior in Autistic children.  I will analyze blood samples, assist Dr. Carson during experimentation, conduct archive work, and develop programs used during testing scenarios.  I am extremely excited to continue my second summer internship at Stanford and I can’t thank Lewis & Clark enough for providing me with such a fantastic opportunity!

Marin Olson

I’m a rising junior BCMB major here at Lewis & Clark, and I have an interest in both the practice and study of medicine. My internship this summer is located at the Center of Magnetic Resonance Research at the University of Minnesota.  The project I’m working with addresses the role of gravity in bone development. One of the most exciting parts of this internship will be to experience what it is like to work in the field of biological and biochemical research.  I’m so thankful for this opportunity to live in Minneapolis and learn as much as I can from some awesome mentors!

Caitlin Power

As a soon-to-be senior majoring in Biology, I am thrilled to be interning at the Oregon Zoo this summer. I will be working with the head of the Nutrition department on compiling and analyzing data for several projects, including one on the reproductive success of the California Condor in relation to diet. Through these projects, I will be collaborating with many different departments within the zoo, and learn much about the workings of the Nutrition department as well as the zoo as a whole. With the experience I will receive from completing this internship, I eventually hope to organize and conduct my own independent research in the future.

Duncan Schulte

I am a rising junior Biology major with an interest in neuroscience and behavioral ecology. This summer I will act as a research assistant at a primate research center in Puerto Rico through the Behavioral Biology Laboratory at The University of Chicago (Lab director Dr. Dario Maestriperi). As a part of a research team studying the costs of male reproductive efforts in promiscuous monkeys and apes, my tasks and responsibilities will be to help with data collection on rhesus macaque behavior and physiology.

Greg Soto

I am a rising senior, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major. After realizing that a career in medicine was probably not for me, I started looking for other ways I could possibly apply my degree after college. I randomly picked up home brewing and immediately saw the scientific connection to the process. After doing some research, I found that despite the amount of breweries here in Portland (more per capita than any other city in the world), there is an abundant lack of quality testing among microbreweries. Through networking and meeting with brewers in the area, I eventually found a brewery that would take me on as an intern. This summer I will be working at Laurelwood Brewing Company, starting and running a small-scale quality control and analytical testing lab. This incredible experience will give me the opportunity to do brewery specific lab work, as well as learn about the intricacies behind the scenes of a top-notch microbrewery.

Holly Thomson

Hello! My name is Holly, and I am a rising sophomore Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major. This summer I will be interning in Tucson, my home town, for the Aspinwall Research Group at the University of Arizona. I will be taking on an interdisciplinary project involving chemistry, cell biology, and materials science. I have chosen my major because I love both chemistry and biology, and I am excited to learn more about how to the two fields intersect. The Aspinwall Research Group is interested in exploring signalling pathways within cells. Specifically, I will be involved in a project to develop ion channel proteins to be used in evaluating biochemical functions. I hope to attend medical or graduate school after my time at Lewis & Clark; this opportunity will give me skills that will be valuable in my future academic and professional endeavors. I look forward to a productive summer!

Cate Vreede

I’m a rising senior and a psychology major at Lewis & Clark. I have a wide range of interests in psychology and neuroscience, and this summer I have the great opportunity to work in Dr. Rieckmann’s lab at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Dr. Rieckmann’s work focuses on the implementation and evaluation of evidence-based treatments for substance abusers, and one project I may be working on is the utilization of an extended-release opioid antagonist to prevent opiate highs in addicts. I am excited to apply what I have learned in classes while also having the opportunity to learn more about this topic and the research process. Thank you to Lewis & Clark for this wonderful opportunity!

Emily Whitson

Aloha kind folk! I’m Emily. Among other things, I swim, dance, craft, bike, eat good foods, (and graduate from LC in Bio) to keep happy!  In addition this summer I’ll be enthusiastically working on a couple of research endeavors through Devers Eye Institute here in Portland. The first involves an anti-scarring agent used in glaucoma drainage surgeries. Using HPLC and MS to evaluate the extent of degradation at different temperatures, we’ll be looking to identify storage conditions that optimize the compound’s efficacy when used in surgery.  Go eyeballs!

Molly Zegans

Hi, I’m Molly, a rising junior, Biology major from Hanover, NH. This summer I will be working at Dartmouth College, where I will work under Celia Chen, Ph.D., to design an independent research project investigating the effects of salinity and temperature on methyl mercury uptake in the model organism killifish. I will also participate in ongoing fieldwork focused on monitoring the levels of mercury in various trophic levels in Lake Sunapee, NH. Though is my second summer working in the Chen lab, I am looking forward to developing my ability to design and execute an experiment and I am excited to increase my knowledge of the Lake Sunapee ecosystem.

Sierra Adler

I am a rising sophomore biology major from Salt Lake City, Utah. This summer I will be an intern at ARUP Laboratories working in the Research & Development department and doing gene mutation analysis on the gene responsible for Li Fraumeni syndrome. From my internship I hope to gain research and writing skills, as well as a greater knowledge and ability for the lab techniques used in molecular biology. I’m really excited to work with professionals in the field and get some great experience. I am so appreciative of Lewis & Clark for making it possible for me to take advantage of this opportunity!

Jasmine Gillett

I am a rising Senior Biology major at Lewis & Clark.  I am taking pre-med curriculum in the hopes of one day going into an M.D. or P.A. program.  This summer, I will be interning at the Clinical and Research Cytogenetics Laboratory at OHSU under the supervision of Susan Olson, a Lewis & Clark alumni.  The broad research topic for this internship is the investigation of the cellular and molecular basis of genomic instability syndromes, such as Fanconi anemia.  I will be working directly with the research team, learning how to make chromosome preparations from mouse and human cells, how to identify the chromosomes, and how to assess the abnormalities that occur in human and mouse cells deficient in certain DNA repair proteins.  I am really looking forward to this internship and all that it has to offer, as well as living in beautiful Portland during the summer!

Arena Morillo

I am originally from Paraguay and moved to the United States in 2000 when I was almost eight years old. I have grown up with my sister and my single mom, with a vision of someday achieving the American dream.  Coming to college has been an exciting accomplishment for me so being able to have an internship in something that will go towards my career has exceeded all my expectations. This summer I am thrilled to be working in the Morgan Lab at OHSU under the pathology department.In this lab we study the pathology of pregnancies. The goal is to ultimately understand and find a cure or effective way to detect and treat preeclampsia in women. My specific project for the summer will be working with a mouse model to determine if the fetus is producing high levels of angiotensinogen causing the mother to develop preeclampsia. Such a project, if successful, could bring us only steps away from moving onto human, clinical trials.

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