W&J senior studies heart attack recovery with research internship

Created: August 17, 2017
Last Updated: January 15, 2020

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*This article was updated in November 2017 to include new information about Nick’s experience at the Ohio Physiological Society Conference.

WASHINGTON (Aug. 17, 2017)—Nicholas Baker ’18 brought a blood-pumping experience to his summer vacation, and his continued research has earned him an award.

The Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) senior took on a research internship with the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) with funding from the W&J Maxwell Internship Award, which provides financial support to students completing off-campus internships.

Through the internship, Nick worked with J. Gary Meszaros, Ph.D., in his lab, investigating the role collagen proteins play in heart attack recovery. Following his lab work, Baker was invited to present his findings to the NEOMED faculty.

Nick plans to attend medical school and become a physician, and he appreciates the advantages W&J and this internship have given him to pursue his career goals.

“My time at W&J has definitely prepared me for this internship. I have had multiple chemistry and biology lab courses that have prepared me for my work this summer at NEOMED,” he said. “The combination of all my W&J courses has not only taught me the biological framework to understand the mission of the Meszaros lab, but also how scientists and researchers collaborate and conduct research in their respective fields.”

In October, Nick returned to Ohio to present his research at the annual Ohio Physiological Society (OPS) conference, which featured undergraduates, graduate and post graduate students sharing their research with industry professionals. Nick participated in a short, data blitz presentation where he gave a 90-second run down of his research. His work also was included in a poster session in the afternoon. He was one of four undergraduates at the conference to win a prize for his research.

“I’ve never been to a research conference. I thought it was a good way to see how research plays out in the real world,” Baker said. “I really got to feel like a part of all that and get a taste of that world. I think anybody interested in science would benefit from going to a research conference.”

Nick is one of 18 students who participated in off-campus biology-related summer research internships in 2017. Check out some of the other cool projects W&J students are doing on the W&J Biology Department Facebook page.

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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