Justin’s Summer Service at Mount Sinai School of Medicine

During the summer, I was fortunate to be chosen as a Student Volunteer in the Genetics Laboratory at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. My role had many components. I assisted the post-doctoral researchers with their bench work by labeling test tubes, organizing lab space, sealing boxes with kits, culturing cells, and organizing samples. I also organized data using a computer program named Python. The data related to research on the genetic components of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Ashkenazi Jewish people.  I also did research to assist in identifying genes relating to disorders such as Crohn’s Disease. After the summer, I was asked to stay on to work on research relating to genetic influences on responsiveness to treatments. I will be analyzing data and possibly assisting in the preparation of a research article on a clinical trial where Glucose-Insulin-Potassium (GIK) therapy is administered to people having heart attacks. I will analyze whether individuals with particular genetic components are more responsive to this treatment. My volunteer work at Mount Sinai is obviously an educational experience for me.  However, the work has an even more important aspect because I assisted scientists in helping people who are afflicted with genetic diseases that severely alter their quality of life. Knowing that I can help people who are ill, even if in a very small way, truly gave me a glimpse into why people pursue careers in medical research.

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