It has been two weeks since I started my internship doing research at Brigham and Women’s hospital and I have realized that I have been utilizing many techniques learned from my past 3 years at Boston College. My lab focuses on the effects of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), a genetic disease that causes benign tumors to form, and its manifestations such as Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) which is the presence of these tumors in the lung and trying to examine effective forms of treatment.
Within the first week of working, I realized that there was a lot of knowledge I did not know and would be required to learn in a short period of time from different scientific literature. The Investigations in Molecular Cell Biology Lab gave me the experience and techniques that would help me read and understand these articles. This course also familiarized me with websites and databases such as NCBI that I would need to use to find journal articles and find the homology (similarity) between two genes in different organisms. Another course that helped me be prepared for this work was my Molecular Biology class I took last semester with Professor Annunziato. He taught me a lot about the lab techniques which I am able to apply and understand the significance of today. He also taught me more about certain cell cycle pathways which are directly related to (and possibly regulated by) what I am researching now.
BC has not only given me the knowledge to begin my research but has also given me the tools necessary to obtain any future knowledge needed to advance it.
Written by William Mischler, BC Class of 2017
Beginning my summer as an Animal Care Intern at the Franklin Park Zoo I am utilizing the skills I have learned in my psychology and biology classes at Boston College. My courses have taught me different aspects of understanding behavior and how organisms interact within the environment. In the first two weeks this internship has allowed me to closely observe the animals in the Tropical Forest area. Using classical conditioning I am assisting in training different species to carry out certain behaviors, such as standing upright, opening their mouths, and moving in some direction; similar to teaching a dog new tricks. In doing this the animals better respond to veterinary treatments and form relationships with the zookeepers.
As a BC student I have an understanding of the Jesuit ideals and have been able to apply these to how I comprehend and approach my internship and all that it entails. Working in the Animal Care department at a AZA accredited institution gives me the responsibility of meeting the basic needs and more for the animals that are on display to the public and act as an integral part of fulfilling the zoo’s overall mission. I am able to be attentive to the necessary steps it takes to provide care for the animals, to be reflective on how my tasks are impacting not only their lives but also toward conservation as a whole, and to be loving toward the animals, my co-workers, and the environment. Together these three pillars of my Jesuit Education continue fuel the passion for my internship and to obtain the most out of my experience.
I am excited to explore more opportunities in the field of ethology and environmental science throughout the remainder of my time at the zoo.
Written by Savanna Kiefer, BC Class of 2017