Home Community Blog University of Utah Pharmacology Interships 2023

By Dr. Daniel Osipovitch, Waterford Science Teacher

This year, the 9th year of Waterford Internship Program with the University of Utah, had 5 rising seniors join a variety of labs in the Pharmacology Department at the U. Their final presentations, 10-minute seminar-style talks, were given on Friday, July 28th at the university. It was readily apparent that these students learned a tremendous amount of science and their skills in the lab grew exponentially throughout this experience. Terms like “passaging cells,” “ion resin chromatography,” “RNA-scope analysis,” and “organic protecting groups” were not in their vernacular at the start of summer, yet in these presentations, the students spoke confidently about high-level science beyond the scope of most high school classroom experiences.

Steven T. ’24 worked to prove DNA-encoded libraries for molecules that could be used to treat particular types of cancer cells. Molly M.’24 worked to help fix a global supply chain issue of heparin by optimizing the production of precursor molecules using genetically modified bacteria. Lauren W. ’24 and Rowan H. ’24 worked in tandem to understand protein localization in specific brain cells that may be involved with various neuronal diseases. Ethan B. ’24 worked to understand how various growth conditions affect the production of cell sheets that can be used to treat osteoarthritis.

Each of these experiences utilized skills and knowledge spanning organic chemistry, biotechnology, and molecular biology. This rewarding experience has allowed students to see the deeper context of cutting-edge science research in real-time.

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