Lab coats are summer gear for high school researchers

You don’t think of a lab coat as summer wear for teens, but we don’t quite feel like it’s summer around here until our research interns have arrived. Early in June, INBT’s undergraduate nano-bio researchers arrived. This week our high schoolers in the Summer Academic Research Experience (SARE) scholars got started.

SARE pairs specially selected teens with university mentors who guide them through a mini research project. At the end of their time here, they hold a small poster session. The students gain valuable work skills, learn about scientific careers, get tutoring help, practice their writing, gather data for their projects and earn some cash for the future. Students in the program are recruited from the Boys Hope Girls Home of Baltimore program, The SEED School of Maryland and The Crossroads School, all of which assist in differing ways with in the education, housing, tutoring  and counseling of promising young people from disadvantaged circumstances.

The SARE program was launched in 2009 by Doug Robinson, professor in the cell biology department at the School of Medicine, and is funded jointly by the medical school and Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology.

This year’s SARE scholars include: Diana Bobb is being mentored by Makoto Tanigawa in the Takanari Inoue Lab in the Department of Cell Biology; Kaleel Byrd is being mentored by Ryan Vierling in the Caren Meyers Lab in the Department of Pharmacology; Milan Dower is being mentored by Tom Lampert in the Peter Devreotes Lab in the Department of Cell Biology; Jewel Herndon is being mentored by Herschel Wade in his lab in the Department of Biophysics; De’Sean Markley is being mentored by Hoku West-Foyle in the Douglas Robinson Lab in the Department of Cell Biology

Roundup of research by INBT’s summer undergraduate researchers

Eric Do with his mentor Jose Luis Santos in the Herrera-Alonso lab. (Photo by Mary Spiro)

Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology hosted 17 undergraduates from universities nationwide in to conduct research in Hopkins laboratories. Of the total, three students were affiliated with the Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (CCNE), four were affiliated with the Physical Sciences-Oncology Center (PS-OC), and the remaining 10 were funded in part by the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates program. INBT, served as a hub for their academic and social activities.

INBT summer interns conduct 10 weeks of research in a laboratory either on the Homewood or the medical campus of the University. At the end of that time, students have learned how to work in a multidisciplinary team and how to manage a short term research project. They also discover if research is a pathway they want to pursue after earning their bachelor’s degrees. Students also present their work in a university wide poster session.

So what were our summer visitors doing? Here are short summaries of the research conducted by each student.

Amani Alkayyali (Wayne State Univeristy)

Lab: Honggang Cui, Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, REU

Amani tried different concentrations of two different peptide conjugates toward the creation of a self-assembling nano-filament that would remain outside of blood cells yet become part of a hemoglobin-based drug delivery vehicle.

Jacqueline Carozza (Cornell University)

Lab: Denis Wirtz, Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, PS-OC

Jacqueline used high throughput cell phenotyping techniques developed in the Wirtz lab to investigate the physical differences in a variety of cancer cell lines in response to varying concentrations of the cancer drug doxorubicin.

Eric Do (University of Washington, Seattle)

Lab: Margarita Herrera-Alonso, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, REU

Eric worked on developing nanoparticles that could encapsulate semiconducting polymers, which have been shown to have a lower toxicity to cells than quantum dots, for the purpose of developing a safer in vivo fluorescent imaging technology.

Matthew Fong (University of California, Berkeley)

Lab: Honggang Cui, Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, CCNE

Matthew worked on pairing the chemotherapy drug Paclitaxel with a vesicle engineered of a peptide amphiphile to create a 3D nanostructure that would improve the drugs solubility and control the timed release of the drug.

Olivia Hentz, right, with mentor Ellen Benn in the Erlebacher lab. (Photo by Mary Spiro)

Olivia Hentz (Cornell University)

Lab: Jonah Erlebacher, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, REU

Olivia used gold as a template to create hollow polymer nanoparticles in both spherical and rod shapes and examined their ability to transfect gene-silencing RNA into living cells under various conditions.

Michelle LaComb (Rice University)

Lab: Honggang Cui, Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, REU

Michelle studied the self-assembly patterns of folic acid, an essential vitamin to humans, in various solutions. Cancer cells often express a high number of folic acid receptors, so folic acid could play a role in targeted cancer therapies.

Bianca Lascano (Norfolk State University)

Lab: Jordan Green, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, REU

Bianca conducted in vitro tests on a library of poly beta-amino esters for their ability to non-virally transfect a fluorescent reporter gene into a dendritic cell.

Lauren Lee (Cornell University)

Lab: Hai-Quan Mao, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, REU

Lauren tested the migration response of immortalized Schwann cells growing within an engineered hydrogel containing neurotrophic growth factors positioned along a physical and chemical gradient.

Anthony Loder (Rowan State University)

Lab: Xin Chen, Dept. of Biology. REU

Using stem cells from Drosophila, Anthony looked at the differentiation and proliferation and examined how Enhancer of Zeste histone methyl-transferase was involved in regulating the process.

Cassandra “Casie” Loren (Oregon State University)

Lab: Denis Wirtz, Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, PS-OC

Casie used high throughput cell phenotyping techniques developed in the Wirtz lab to examine the physical characteristics of cells growing through various life cycle stages, particularly quiescence or cell inactivity.

Albert Lu (University of California, Berkeley)

Lab: Jeff Wang, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, CCNE

Albert used E. coli to perform limit-of-detection evaluations of a lab-on-a-chip device designed to quickly screen for pathogens in biological samples.

Bria Macklin and her mentor, Sravanti Kusuma. (Photo by Mary Spiro)

Bria Macklin (Howard University)

Lab: Sharon Gerecht, Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, REU

With various growth factors, Bria optimized a collagen-based medium in which to grow endothelial cells.

Daniel McClelland (Bethany College)

Lab: D. Howard Fairbrother, Dept. of Chemistry, REU

Daniel tested the effect of carbon nanotube-polymer composites on the biofilm attachment and viability of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is a common soil and water. The study related to the biodegradation of carbon nanotubes.

Edwin “Charlie” Nusbaum (The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey)

Lab: Robert Ivkov, Dept. of Radiation Oncology, REU

Hyperthermia, or heating cells above normal body temperatures, could be used in cancer treatment, but heat to surrounding healthy tissues and organs would be detrimental. Charlie showed that copper could be used to calibrate alternating magnetic field hypothermia with magnetic nanoparticles at radiofrequencies.

Josh Porterfield (Cornell University)

Lab: Sharon Gerecht, Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, PS-OC

Josh studied the influence of a transcription factor associated with the formation of blood vessels in breast cancer tumors called HEYL on the patterns of vascularization in extracellular matrix.

Justin Samorajski (University of Dallas)

Lab: Peter Searson, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, CCNE

Using a two-layer microfluidic device, Justin examined the effect of an electrical field gradient on the migration of fibrosarcoma cells in 3D.

Carolyn Zhang (University of California, San Diego)

Lab: Sharon Gerecht/Hai Quan Mao, Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, PS-OC

Constructing a framework from fibrin developed in the Mao lab, Carolyn worked on optimizing a template containing a growth factor gradient upon which endothelial colony forming cells could establish a tubular structure of viable cells.

Story by Mary Spiro

 

Related links:

Meet INBT’s summer interns, already digging into their research – 06/28/12

Summer interns present research work at Aug. 2 poster session

Nanobio REU program

 

 

 

Five Hopkins students conduct nano research in Belgium

Each summer, Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology (INBT) has funding to support several summer research internships abroad. The International Research Experience for Students (IRES) program, funded by the National Science Foundation, provides support for students to work with researchers at The Inter-University MircroElectronics Centre (IMEC) in Leuven, Belgium. Students work at IMEC’s world-class microfabrication facility and learn to design, fabricate and test a wide range of biomedical devices.

Internships can last two to three months, although they can be much shorter depending on the project. They include travel expenses, accommodation and a stipend. The IRES program is open to Johns Hopkins undergraduate and graduate students.

Students are selected through discussions with and recommendation from their advisers. Interns selected must also have a research project that is mutually of interest to investigators at both Johns Hopkins and IMEC. Interested students should contact INBT’s Academic Program Administrator Ashanti Edwards (ashanti@jhu.edu) to being the process of applying for upcoming internships.

During the summer of 2012 five students from Johns Hopkins conducted research at IMEC. They included the following:

Gregg Duncan is a doctoral student in the lab of Michael Bevan, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. Duncan used dark field microscopy to quantify nanoparticle-cell interactions.

Colin Paul is a doctoral student in the lab of Konstantinos Konstantopoulos, professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Paul brought cell migration devices fabricated in the Konstantopoulos lab to IMEC to perform proof-of-concept experiments with Nicolas Barbera (see below).

Nicolas Barbera is a rising senior working in the Konstantopoulos lab. Barbera gained skills in fluorescence microscopy, dark field microscopy and hyperspectral imaging.

Sarah Friedrich is a doctoral student from the laboratory of Andre Levchenko, professor of biomedical engineering. Friedrich worked on a platform that could expose cells to both chemical and topographical stimulation at the same time.

Peter Nelson is a rising sophomore working in the lab of Jordan Green, assistant professor of biomedical engineering. Nelson worked developing on a polymer-nanoparticle with the ability to apply hyperthermia (heat) and chemotherapy treatments.

Story by Mary Spiro 

Summer interns present research work at Aug. 2 poster session

Summer research interns from across the Johns Hopkins University campuses will present the results of their efforts in a poster session, Thursday, August 2 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Turner Concourse at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Typically more than six dozen posters are presented. This year, Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology has 17 undergraduate summer research interns, the most they have ever hosted. Research presented will range from the basic sciences from students who worked at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering to research findings of undergraduates working from the School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Summer interns are sponsored by various entities, such as the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates program. The joint poster sessions allows them the opportunity to see what interns in the other groups have been working on. Most summer programs host students for 10-12 weeks of research. The students are mentored by faculty, postdoctoral fellows and doctoral students in their host labs. The poster session is free and open to the entire Hopkins community. Faculty, staff and students from all disciplines are encouraged to attend and ask the poster presenters questions about their results and experience. For more information on INBT’s 2012 interns go to this link.

Meet INBT’s summer interns, already digging into their research

Research does not take a holiday during the summer at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. In fact, it ramps up with the addition of many new faces from across the country.

The Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology summer research interns have arrived and are already busy at work in various laboratories. This year’s group is the largest the institute has ever hosted, with 17 undergraduates from universities nationwide.

Of the total, three students are affiliated with the Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence and four are affiliated with the Physical Sciences-Oncology Center. The remaining 10 are part of the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates program. All are hosted through INBT, which serves as a hub for their academic and social activities.

INBT summer interns conduct 10 weeks of research in a laboratory either on the Homewood or the medical campus of the University. At the end of that time, students have learned how to work in a multidisciplinary team and how to manage a short term research project.  They also discover if research is a pathway they want to pursue after earning their bachelor’s degrees.

In August, interns from many of the science, medicine, engineering and public health summer programs will gather for a  poster session to be held on August 2 at 3 p.m. in Turner Concourse. The poster session will allow students to show off the results of their their work.

This year’s INBT/PS-OC/CCNE interns include:

At the Whiting School of Engineering…

Amani Alkayyali from Wayne State University is an REU student in the laboratory of Honggang Cui assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Also in the Cui lab are CCNE intern Matthew Fong from the University of California, Berkeley and Michelle LaComb, an REU student from Rice University.

Sharon Gerecht, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular engineering, is hosting three interns. Josh Porterfield of Cornell University and Carolyn Zhang from the University of California are both PS-OC interns, and Bria Macklin of Howard University is an REU intern.

Jacqueline Carozza of Cornell University is a PS-OC student working in the lab of Denis Wirtz, professor in the Department Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Cassandra Loren from Oregon State University is a PS-OC intern also working in the Wirtz lab.

Eric Do from the University of Washington is an REU working in the lab of assistant professor Margarita Herrara-Alonso in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Olivia Hentz from Cornell is an REU student working in the lab of Jonah Erlebacher, professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Justin Samorajski from the University of Dallas is a returning summer intern, once again working in the materials science and engineering lab of professor Peter Searson as part of the CCNE.

At the School of Medicine…

Lauren Lee of Cornell University is an REU working in the lab of biomedical engineering lab of associate professor Hai-Quan Mao.

Albert Lu from the University of California Berkeley is a CCNE intern working in the biomedical engineering lab of associate professor Jeff Wang.

Bianca Lascano from Norfolk State University is an REU in assistant professor Jordan Green’s biomedical engineering lab.

Charlie Nusbaum of the Richard Stockton College is an REU intern in the radiation oncology lab of assistant professor Robert Ivkov.

At the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences…

Anthony Loder of Rowan University is an REU working in the biology lab of assistant professor Xin Chen.

Daniel McClelland is also REU from Bethany College works in the chemistry laboratory of professor Howard Fairbrother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INBT professional development seminar topics announced

Every summer, Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology hosts a series of free professional development seminars for the Hopkins community. Seminars will be held from 10:45 a.m. to noon on the second and fourth Wednesdays in June and July in Shaffer 3 (the basement auditorium). Dates and topics are as follows:

  • June 13:  How to promote yourself and the benefits of networking with Tom Fekete, INBT’s director of Corporate Partnerships.
  • June 27:  Why should you consider grad school and how do you prepare? The speaker is Christine Kavanaugh, Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions, Communications and Enrollment for Johns Hopkins University.
  • July 11: I got my PhD, now what?  This will be a panel discussion about various career pathways post graduate school, including  entrepreneurship and working in academia or the government. Panel participants will be Shyam Khatau, PhD (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering JHU); Stephen Diegelmann, PhD (Chemistry, JHU now working at Case Western Reserve University); and Nicole Moore, ScD (Program Manager in the Office of Physical Sciences-Oncology at NIH/ NCI).
  • July 25: INBT Student Film Festival. This seminar will premiere the films made by students in the Science Communications for Scientists and Engineers course taught by Mary Spiro, INBT’s science writer.

 

Summer scholars celebrate first high school graduates

Charles Booth and his mentor Yulia Artemenko at the 2011 Boys Hope poster session. Photo: Mary Spiro

To encourage promising high school students to pursue careers in academia and research, Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine welcome scholars from Baltimore’s Boys Hope Girls Hope (BHGH) to work in university laboratories. From June through August each summer for the past three years, high school students have worked alongside scientists in Johns Hopkins University laboratories producing raw data that supports the research goals of their mentors.

This summer, the university welcomed four BHGH scholars and, at the conclusion of the session, the scholars presented their findings to faculty, students, staff, and members of their families during a poster session held, August 12. The program also celebrated its first two high school graduates.

Matthew Green-Hill has been in the BHGH/INBT program for three summers. He graduated this spring from Archbishop Curley High School and was accepted to The College of William and Mary where he plans to study political science. He worked in the lab of assistant professor Sean Taverna in the department of pharmacology and molecular sciences. Along with his mentor PhD student Tonya Gilbert, Green-Hill presented “Cloning Yng1 to Identify Novel Histone Modification Binding Motifs that may affect Gene Expression” at the poster session.

Dwayne Thomas II worked in the cell biology laboratory of associate professor Douglas Robinson. He and his mentor, PhD student Hoku West-Foyle, conducted research that was presented in the poster “Dictyostelium discoideum myosin-ll, a modular motor.” Thomas has participated in the summer research program for two summers. He graduated from Loyola Blakefield in May and will attend Loyola University Maryland in the fall as a biology/pre-med major.

Working in the biological chemistry laboratory of professor Craig Montell, Durrell Igwe was mentored by postdoctoral fellow Marquis Walker and presented the poster “Reduced Immune Response in Drosophila Lysosomal Storage Disease Model.” This is also Igwe’s second year in the program, and he will graduate from Archbishop Curley High School in the spring of 2012.

One of the newest BHGH scholars is Charles Booth, who worked with postdoctoral fellow Yulia Artemenko in the cell biology lab of professor Peter Devreotes. He presented the poster “Analysis of the Functional Redundancy Between Dictyostelium KrsB and Its Mammalian Homolog Mstl.” Booth attends Calvert Hall and will be a junior this fall.

The BHGH program is geared toward students with academic potential but who lack the resources or stability to achieve their full potential. Some of those who have participated in the program may have at one time missed weeks of school in the past. Others have even been homeless. Students voluntarily apply to the nonprofit program to access services such as a stable home, tutoring, and counseling. Scholars have the opportunity to live together in an adult-supervised house in Baltimore and attend local private schools. Both boys and girls participate in the program and next year, Robinson said he hopes Hopkins will attract some of the young women interested in science and medicine to work in sponsored laboratories.

Additional photos on our Facebook Page.

Boys Hope Girls Hope Baltimore

Story by Mary Spiro