By | Katie Cicolello ’14
“Seeing patients who could benefit from our pulmonary research was extremely motivating.”
I experienced the world of biomedical research while exploring the clinical side of medicine, thanks to Macalester’s Academic Health Sciences Summer Research Program (AHSSRP). My mentor was Peter Bitterman, a physician-scientist at the University of Minnesota with an active research lab.
Dr. Bitterman’s research is on Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a disease characterized by the thickening of a patient’s airways. There is no known cause or cure, and roughly 40,000 patients die of this disease each year in the U.S.
In seeking to discover the cause of this disease, I studied the effect of the lungs’ extracellular matrix on cellular proliferation in IPF. We received post-surgical lung tissue samples from patients, which I learned how to decellularize and culture. Although much more research is needed, I hope that my work will help inform those future projects.
I loved how AHSSRP balanced research with clinical experiences. Dr. Bitterman is a practicing pulmonologist, and once a week I shadowed him in his clinic. Seeing patients who could benefit from our research was extremely motivating. Through connections within the program I also arranged to shadow doctors in other specialties, experiences that have helped inform my career decisions.
I was lucky to find AHSSRP, like so many other opportunities, through my Macalester professors. When I couldn’t decide between a clinical and a research job this summer, my advisor suggested this program that blended the two. I’m so fortunate for having had this opportunity.
January 22 2014Back to top
More Internships News
A Semester in French Publishing
A Mac student's literary adventure living and working in France.
July 11 2016
International studies major Emily Elkins ’16 helps refugees become U.S. citizens.
July 4 2016
Math major handles big data in U of Minnesota program designed to find out more about Parkinson's Disease
June 20 2016
Working in a Senator's Office
As a health policy intern, Tess Van Schepen '16 became part of a community in Senator Al Franken's St. Paul office.
June 14 2016
Public Health Internships
Four students talk about their Twin Cities internships in the world of public health.
May 9 2016
Training Ground for After Mac
A peek into the world of legislative government was an opportunity that William Theriac '16 couldn't pass up.
April 25 2016
Internships in Global Issues
Mac students learn about international issues by partnering with local organizations.
April 1 2016
From Intern to Employee
With the support of the Macalester network, Haroon Bokhari '16 landed an investment banking job at Wells Fargo.
March 28 2016
Determined to find a challenging study away experience, Kendall Van Sistine ’16 spent a semester in Ho Chi Minh City.
March 21 2016
From Macalester to Mayo
Her courses, along with her Department of Health experience, helped Alese Halvorson land a job at the famed Mayo Clinic.
March 16 2016
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Ned Molter '15 puts his research and scientific writing skills to work at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
March 2 2016
Green Architecture Intern
When David Weiss interned with Locus Architecture, he saw how concepts from his environmental studies classes were applied in construction and remodeling.
February 29 2016