Biology student Veronica Guirguis spent the summer interning at the world-renowned teaching and biomedical hospital, Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
Guirguis, a sophomore, was grateful to have the chance to work with “brilliant people” including Dr. Christopher Heaney, associate professor in the School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins, and Dr. Barbara Detrick, a professor of pathology at the JH University School of Medicine, and a Caldwell University alumna. Guirguis also appreciated the introduction to virology provided by John Hooks, Ph.D. of the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health.
Guirguis was on a team that researched “Detection of IL-6 in Hepatitis E Virus Infection.” “We found that IL-6 is upregulated in HEV infection which participates in inflammation,” she said.
Caldwell University’s Natural and Physical Sciences Department prepared her well for the internship. When she started working with petri dishes at JH she said, “I”ve got this. I’ve been prepared for this,” recalling how she had learned about plate pouring techniques in Caldwell Science Professor Agnes Berki’s labs.
The internship, she said, gave her a “confidence boost” and she appreciated being able to network with professionals. She says she has a clearer vision of the steps she will need to take to pursue immunology studies as part of a combined M.D. /Ph.D. program.
In addition to the studies, there was time to discover the city of Baltimore, it’s “beauty and history”, she said, and enjoy dinner one evening on the famous Inner Harbor with the other students and faculty. “Everyone was so nice. They made you fall in love with the campus and Baltimore.”
It was the third year that Caldwell students were selected to participate in the JH Bloomberg School of Public Health Diversity Summer Internship Program. Dr. Detrick formed the partnership between Caldwell and Johns Hopkins.