W&J Selects Merck Scholars for Summer 2020 Research

Created: April 3, 2020  |  Last Updated: April 3, 2020  |  Category:   |  Tagged:

WASHINGTON, PA (DATE) – Washington & Jefferson College has selected four students to receive stipends from W&J’s Merck Internships for Excellence in Science program to support off-campus biomedical research internships in Summer 2020.

William Kitsch (Biochemistry ’22) will intern in the laboratory of Zachary Klase, Ph.D., in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Will’s research will focus on identifying epigenetic modifications that alter gene expression in individuals who are HIV-positive opiate abusers.

Brianna McGowan (Biochemistry ’20) will intern in the laboratory of W&J alumna Gina (Bernardo) Sizemore, Ph.D. (Biology ’03), in the Department of Radiation Oncology at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Brianna’s research will focus on determining the role of the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) signaling pathway in breast cancer metastasis.

Megan Perry (Biological Physics, ’21) will return for a second internship in the laboratory of Visvanathan Ramamurthy, Ph.D., in the Department of Biochemistry at the West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown, West Virginia. Megan’s research focuses on the role of the chaperone protein Hsp90 in the retina and how it affects vision.

Julia Schaffer (Neuroscience and Spanish, ’21) will return for a second Merck-funded internship in the laboratory of W&J alumna Catherine Davis-Takacs, Ph.D. (Psychology ’04) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. Julia’s research focuses on the effects of radiation on behavior, cognition, and brain neurochemistry in rats as a model for long-term human space flight.


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.