Name: Yael Day
Class Year: 2022
Hometown: Newton, Mass.
Internship Organization: Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Job Title: Summer Research Intern
Location: Philadelphia, Pa.
What’s happening at your internship?
This summer, I am working with a Ph.D. candidate in the De Biasi lab at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. This lab focuses on studying the neurophysiology underlying addiction to alcohol, nicotine, and opioids. Specifically, I am working on projects that look at the connections between alcohol and nicotine addiction in adolescence. I do a few different things in the lab and have a pretty varied schedule which I really like. Some days I am working on data collection, so I take measurements of the mice, the alcohol levels, nicotine levels. Other days, I slice brains using a cryostat. This is a machine which keeps the brains at -20ºC so they can be cut into extremely thin slices and mounted onto slides. I also mount the tissue onto slides and prepare them for RNA Scope. RNA scope allows us to look for specific pieces of RNA and proteins in different brain regions. I also attend weekly lab meetings and will be presenting a poster at Penn’s science symposium at the end of the summer.
Why did you apply for this internship?
I am really lucky because this internship checked all the boxes I wanted for my summer experience. I knew that I definitely wanted to work in a lab because I was not able to last year due to the pandemic. I am also living in Philadelphia, with a few other Bryn Mawr students, where I wanted to stay over the summer. In addition, I am working in a lab that combines my two main academic interests: neuroscience and chemistry.
What has been your favorite part of this internship?
My favorite part of this internship has been the people who I have met. Everyone in my lab has been extremely welcoming to me. The people in my lab are also intellectually driven and dedicated to their work, so it has been inspiring to see people in graduate school conducting research like I also want to do in a few years. The Ph.D. candidates and post-docs are always happy to explain their research to me or to let me know when they are trying out new research techniques that I haven’t seen before. They have also been very fun to hang out with and have had exciting activities planned for us outside of work too.
Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.