Summer Internships: Isabella Leone '23
Name: Isabella Leone
Class Year: 2023
Hometown: New York, NY
Internship Organization: Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine
Job Title: Research Intern
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
What’s happening at your internship? We would love to hear what kind of work you are doing!
Right now, I’m working on a project studying telomere lengths in different regions of brains that have been affected by Primary Age Related Tauopathy (PART) by staining slides of brain tissue with fluorescent probes and using a confocal microscope to take pictures of the cells. I then use Image J, a processing and analysis software developed by the National Institutes of Health, to measure fluorescence of the telomeres and centromeres in the nuclei.
Why did you apply for this internship?
I applied for this internship because of this lab’s focus on understanding the effects of aging on the human body, specifically regarding how telomeres play a role in aging and disease. While I learned about telomeres in classes I’ve taken, I was eager to learn more about the subject and this internship gave me the perfect opportunity to do that.
What has been your favorite part of this internship?
My favorite part about this internship has, ironically, been its challenges. Recently, for a separate experiment, we have been trying to extract DNA from mouse tails- something that can be difficult to do. We’ve been adjusting and refining our procedure to try and come up with the best way to extract DNA and make it high enough quality for qPCR. Workshopping these different methods has given me practice in looking at a problem from multiple angles.
Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?
One of the skills I’m learning is how to conduct literature reviews and sift through dense scientific papers efficiently while maximizing my understanding. The papers often have information beyond my understanding and can easily become overwhelming when trying to tackle a difficult concept. Because of the readings I’ve needed to do to understand techniques and topics I haven’t been exposed to before, I’ve been able to refine strategies to distill the important information from papers in a way that I can understand. These skills will be important for me in my future in science, as new developments are being published every day.
Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.