VT Bioscience Interns

POSTED on September 6, 2012

As the upcoming generation of scientists buckles down for another year of college, we wanted to check in with some kids who spent their summers as interns at local bioscience companies. Find out what inspired these two young scientists this past summer.

Bridget Bishop

BioTek Instruments

GFP smThis past summer I worked as an intern in the Applications Lab at BioTek Instruments Inc., a company in Winooski, Vermont that develops new microplate technologies.

Most of my duties involved setting up numerous assays for detection on BioTek instruments, including luminescence, phosphorescence and absorbance assays. I also helped maintain the cell cultures needed by the research and development team. Most of our experiments sought to verify that other manufacturers’ assays would perform well using BioTek instruments, a part of the job which I found surprising. Working in the applications lab was a mixture of science and business—an environment that encouraged me to ask questions while getting real life answers—a welcome change from the more academic environment that I am used to at school. This was also my first chance to have my name published on a few scientific documents, most of which involve green fluorescent proteins (GFPs). I did a lot of research on GFPs while at BioTek and worked consistently with automating the process of staining cells with BFP to make the process faster and more accurate for our customers. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at BioTek and it has made me that much more excited to pursue my interests in pharmaceutical research.

Tenzin C Lhakhang

Haematologic Technologies, Inc.
This summer I had the privilege of interning at Haematologic Technologies Inc. The focus of my internship was to isolate and purify CTI (corn trypsin inhibitor).

CTI is a small protein found in the kernels of a variety of corn species. The importance of this protein comes from its ability to inhibit human factor XIIa, and thus suppress the contact pathway of coagulation. Part of my summer project at Haemtech was trying clean up impure lots of CTI. Following the instructions of my mentors, I performed different experiments focused on separating clipped or undesirable protein from intact CTI. After working on CTI all summer I had grown attached to the protein and wanted to purify it as best I could. However, after researching various methods of protein purification, I realized that I have so much more to learn. I believe that my experience at Haem Tech has truly laid the groundwork for my pursuit in the field of biochemistry.

[Part of the September 2012 Newsletter, See More in the Archives.]

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