This summer, Lauren Kageler '20 was a research assistant in the Hastings Research Lab, where she explored using biochemistry to reduce waste.
Internship title and location:
Research intern, Hastings Research Laboratory, Loyola University Maryland.
What I do, day to day:
Throughout this internship I worked on a project at the intersection of biochemistry and green chemistry. My research was focused on optimizing transaminase reactions that form amines, which are important in the pharmaceutical industry, by utilizing enzymes in the reaction. The ultimate goal of my research was to develop a reliable method for carrying out tandem reactions using enzyme catalysis to reduce waste.
Most valuable part of this experience:
The most valuable part of this internship experience was the opportunity to greatly expand my skill set. I learned new laboratory techniques and analytical methods, and I improved the skills I had previously developed.
The previous summer I worked as an intern for Diagnopath medical diagnostics laboratory (Zimbabwe), and the summer before that I worked as a research intern for Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation (Greece). I have had a diverse range of internship experiences that have helped me to better understand my own interests, and I definitely hope to intern again in the future before I pursue my graduate studies.
Advice for students considering internships:
I highly recommend that you pursue an internship because it is the best way to understand what it may be like to work in your field of interest. You will gain valuable experience, build professional connections and find yourself improving your own skill set.
How this internship has helped me:
Through my own experience and networking with other professionals at this internship, I have gained a better understanding of what a research career entails and the next steps that I will need to take to pursue graduate studies.
After I graduate from Dickinson, I plan to take one year to work in a research laboratory to further explore my interests and gain more experience. I then plan to pursue graduate studies with the eventual goal of obtaining a Ph.D.
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Published September 9, 2019