Seven students awarded Merck Internships for Excellence in Science award

Created: March 6, 2019
Last Updated: December 18, 2019

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WASHINGTON, PA (March 5, 2019)—Seven students have been selected to receive stipends from W&J’s Merck Internships for Excellence in Science program to support off-campus biomedical research internships in Summer 2019.

Jenna Allen (Biochemistry, class of 2020) will intern in the laboratory of Brock Lindsey, M.D., at the West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown, W. Va. Jenna’s research will focus on the activity of the immune system and the effects of immunotherapy drugs in mice with osteosarcoma bone cancer.

Caroline Fedor (Biochemistry, class of 2020) will intern in the laboratory of Kacey Marra, Ph.D., at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pittsburgh, Pa. Caroline’s research will focus on how encapsulating chemotherapeutic drugs in autologous fat grafts for reconstructive surgery following breast cancer may be used to prevent cancer recurrence.

Abigail Locke (Neuroscience, class of 2020) will return for a second internship in the laboratory of Sameer Agnihotri, Ph.D., at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC in Pittsburgh, Pa. Abby’s research will focus on diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas and their response to drugs which target production of the amino acid methionine.

Joshua Palma (Biology, class of 2020) will intern in the laboratory of Guy Salama, Ph.D., at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pittsburgh, Pa. Josh’s research will focus on use of the hormone relaxin as treatment for fibrosis in heart muscle.

Julia Schaffer (Neuroscience, class of 2021) will intern in the laboratory of W&J alumna Catherine Davis-Takacs, Ph.D. (Psychology, class of 2004) at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md. Julia’s research will focus on the effects of radiation on social cognition in rats as a model for long-term human space flight.

Caitlin Shellhamer (Biology, class of 2020) will intern in the laboratory of Alison Carey, M.D., at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pa. Caitlin’s research will focus on the innate immune system in the lungs of neonates, which are particularly susceptible to viral infections.

Leslie Watkins (Biology, class of 2021) will intern in the laboratory of Ted Dawson, M.D., Ph.D., at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md. Leslie’s research will focus on alterations to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract as a causative factor in the neurodegenerative disorder Parkinson’s disease.

About Merck Internships for Excellence in Science

Initiated in 2008 through funding from the Merck Institute for Science Education, the program is designed to support W&J students in their efforts to land prestigious research internships in the sciences. Internship fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis, giving science faculty the flexibility to match the most exciting research opportunities with the most qualified students.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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