By Caroline Wood
Members of the Authentic Science Research class have recently been giving presentations on the work they did at their internships last summer.
According to ASR and biology teacher Dr. Maria Burgess, students participated in a variety of research-oriented internships.
“The students spend the first quarter and a half really looking hard for their internships.” she said. “They pick an area of interest that they are interested in research-wise; they research it to understand the topic better, and then they look for internships where people are doing research in that area, locally.”
According to Burgess, internships last summer included cancer studies, tissue engineering of blood vessels, protein binding, and emotion regulation in kids.
Senior ASR student Laurel Edington, who interned in the Oncology Department at Massachusetts General Hospital, was able to go to meetings with doctors, watch a bone marrow harvest, and watch a bone marrow biopsy.
“The work I did was more clinical,” Edington said. “I entered data into a database that collected information about patients with acute leukemia.”
Senior Kyle Marsh interned in the Jackson Building of Massachusetts General Hospital with mentor Dr. David Sweetser, a pediatric oncologist.
“Our lab looked at a specific type of leukemia called acute myeloid leukemia,” Marsh said. “I tested one specific gene in about 41 samples called CKIT gene to see if it was a cause of AML.”
The research that Marsh and her mentor conducted will be published, and Marsh will be listed as an author.
These internships are a critical component to the ASR class, according to Burgess. The students have the opportunity to get insight into the different kinds of thinking required to do research, to see how scientists think, and to start participating in that way of thinking.
“This experience will help me pursue a career in science. It taught me responsibility and independence,” Marsh said.
The school will have posters around the school advertising the seminars, which will be given during A block for any interested students, faculty, or community members who want to attend.
“We have had such an independently motivated group of kids this year,” Burgess said. “This experience has given them the confidence to go for something and really succeed.”