Summer Internship: Clementine Payne '22
Name: Clementine Payne
Class Year: 2022
Major: Biology, with a Minor in Health Studies
Hometown: Greenbrier, AR
Internship Organization: Epigenetics Lab of Tamara Davis
Job Title: Lab Research Intern
Location: Bryn Mawr College
Award: Bryn Mawr College Internship Fund
What’s happening at your internship?
This summer I continued my thesis work in Dr. Tamara Davis’ Epigenetics lab, funded by the National Science Foundation. Across the mammalian genome, copies of genes are often inherited and expressed from both parents. Recently scientists have discovered that a growing number of genes do not follow this pattern; rather, imprinted genes only express one of the two inherited parental copies. The Davis lab conducts research focusing on the DNA methylation responsible for directing the differential expression of these genes. My project evaluates asymmetric methylation at different regions within the genome to investigate if there are differences between the patterns observed at imprinted vs. non-imprinted genes.
Why did you apply for this internship?
It is a great privilege to work in this lab to complete my undergraduate thesis, a project that I started in the summer of 2020. I wanted to continue the research during the summer of 2021 to expand my laboratory experience and my project. Through the research that I have conducted, I have been able to better prepare for and understand the expectations of my future field of study. I will be the first and only person in my family to pursue a Ph.D. in the biological sciences as a second-generation college student. Being part of this summer research allowed me to make a crucial step toward my future career. The educational experiences and certifications I received will allow me to be a more competitive applicant for research opportunities after Bryn Mawr. Additionally, the connections I have made with fellow students and with Dr. Davis have opened an exciting new world of mentorship and guidance.
Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?
Through my work in the Davis lab, I have gained skills in molecular biology lab processes such as sequencing, cloning, genotyping, PCR, bisulfite mutagenesis, and data analysis. Additionally, I have received training and certifications in animal care and scientific model organism training which were made available to me through the Summer Research Program, making me a more competitive candidate when applying for graduate programs.
What is most rewarding about your internship?
I genuinely love the work that is being done in the Davis lab. It is both intellectually and procedurally challenging, allowing for its students to feel a sense of pride when they can work through a process or experience a setback. The sense of community Dr. Davis creates, combined with her phenomenal mentoring, makes us all like we are a large family working toward a common goal.
Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.