Current Tufts student Yassi Khorsandian shared the following about being a Summer Intern at the Center for Applied NanoBioscience and Medicine …
What did you do as an intern at this organization?
Each intern is paired with one of the researchers at the lab to receive one-on-one mentorship on research projects that aim for new scientific discoveries. I had the opportunity to work independently on two projects with Dr. Lacombe; the first project focused on developing a multiplex vertical flow immunoassay to test for the presence of an active COVID-19 infection in patient samples and to also quantify their immune system’s response (or level of immunity in vaccinated individuals) by detecting antibodies. The second project I worked on was part of a larger collaboration with NASA, SpaceX, and the US government that aims to quantify the dose of radiation received by an individual using a small blood sample.
How did you find this internship?
I was familiar with some of the ongoing research projects at this laboratory, so I reached out to Dr. Zenhausern, director of the lab, who interviewed me and later welcomed me as a summer intern.
What did you enjoy most about your internship?
The highlight of my internship would have to be the numerous friendships and professional connections I have developed over the course of the summer. Having been lucky enough to work alongside other undergraduate students as well as physicians and scientists who are very knowledgeable and experts in their respective fields, I found it very rewarding to not only learn from them but also to form lifelong connections with them.
What did you find challenging?
As with any research experience, patience is key. Getting inconclusive or unexpected results can be very frustrating, but the nature of research is all about perseverance and adaptability rather than a straight path to the expected outcome.
What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?
I would advise reaching out early and doing your research before an interview (be familiar with the ongoing projects and recent publications of the researchers/laboratories you are reaching out to). Once the internship begins, it can certainly be intimidating to be surrounded by so many knowledgeable and respected scientists, but speak to as many people as you can to get the most out of your internship!
About the Organization
The Center uniquely applies a combination of advances in nanoscience, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), molecular biology and genomics to a new generation of biological tools and sensors based on nano and microscale technologies.