Internship Spotlight: Tufts Medical Center Molecular Cardiology Research Institute

Current student Angela Tesfu shared the following about being an Intern at the Iris Jaffe Lab at Tufts Medical Center Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI)…

What did you do as an intern there?
The Iris Jaffe lab aims to reduce cardiovascular toxicities and complications that are side effects to anti-cancer therapies which directly aligns with my passion to transform the lives of cancer patients. I conducted essential molecular biology techniques in order to further my understanding of the results for the overall project. I specifically worked to extract protein and RNA from blood vessels out of mice treated with cancer drugs, performed several western blots and quantitative PCR, learned how to grow endothelial cells in culture and then treat them with cancer drugs, and more. I also had the chance to lead a journal club meeting with the entire lab team. I picked an article of interest to me published by another lab, worked to analyze the figures and language throughout it, and then presented it to my team.

How did you find this internship?
I cold emailed the PI

What did you enjoy most about your internship? 
This unique environment where we work to discover the molecular basis of cardiovascular disease is something that has always intrigued me being a pre-medicine student. The goal of this Tufts Medical Center based lab is to determine the mechanism of cardiovascular toxicity in chemotherapy agents. Targeted therapies have transformed cancer treatment, usually changing terminal cancers into chronic diseases. Educating myself on the research done with the help of my mentors and spending time reading is what I enjoyed most about being a part of this lab.

What did you find challenging?
During my first week in the lab, I was unsure about certain experiments and found it difficult to converse about the research with fellow post-docs and MD-PHD students. However, as time passed I became more informed by reading articles the lab had published, listening and contributing to conversations with my mentors, and devoting extra time to completing certain tasks outside of the lab. This has all helped me become more confident with my position in the lab.

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?
Get to know the people you are working with and most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

About the Organization

Tufts Medicine - Tufts Medical Center

The primary focus of the Jaffe lab is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying common vascular disorders including hypertension, vascular remodeling, and atherosclerosis with specific emphasis on the role of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.


By Sheryl Rosenberg
Sheryl Rosenberg Associate Director