Harvard-MIT Bioinformatics Summer Program
LONGMEADOW, Mass.—Melanie Decker ’11 of Port Jervis, NY has recently been accepted into the Harvard-MIT Bioinformatics Summer Program, based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and at Harvard-affiliated institutions in Boston. This highly competitive, paid internship is offered to only a select number of students each summer and immerses participants in a rich environment supported by cutting-edge research facilities and expert mentors.
“The Summer Program is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I’m absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity. The internship will allow me to work with acclaimed scientists and perform hands-on, medical application research related to genetics and molecular biology,” said Decker, who is a Bay Path NSF Scholar majoring in forensic science. “I’ve always believed science is my talent, and I’ve always wanted to use this talent to help society. This internship will bring me one step closer to achieving my dream as I broaden my knowledge in the medical field.”
Decker follows in the footsteps of previous Summer Program interns like Bethany Kruczuik-Locke ’09 of West Newbury, MA, and Feeding Hills residents Monica Lefebvre ’10 and Kristen Ott ’08, who is currently a doctoral candidate at Boston University’s Program in Genetics. After listening to Lefebvre’s experiences in the 2009 program, Decker pursued the internship. “After speaking with Monica, I knew I couldn’t pass up this incredible opportunity,” said Decker. “The application process was a lot of hard work, but when I received word that I was going to Boston this summer, it was well worth the time and energy.”
The internship introduces students to the integration of quantitative and biomedical sciences, providing them with broad knowledge of clinical relevancy as well as specific skills in the information science of genomics. The program combines lectures, clinical case studies and a mentored research project to expose students fully to the exciting world of genomic research. Participants learn skills fundamental to the task of extracting information from the huge amount of data produced by the international Human Genome Project by working with the various tools and databases now available.
As part of the Summer Institute, students also receive guidance through individual tutorials and workshops on preparing and presenting research findings. At the end of the summer, students present their work to the Bioinformatics mentors at a conference. In addition, summer students discuss responsible and ethical ways to conduct research.
“I believe Bay Path has definitely prepared me for this experience, in which I will learn so much more,” said Decker, who will deliver a presentation to the Bay Path community following her experience. “Throughout the years, the Bay Path faculty, especially Dr. Hsiang-Ching Kung and Dr. Gina Semprebon, have supported me in my educational pursuits, and I’m extremely thankful to them for this scientific research opportunity.”
About the Harvard-MIT Summer Institute in Bioinformatics
The Summer Institute in Bioinformatics offers a hands-on research experience for outstanding undergraduate college students considering a career in biomedical engineering and medical science. The Summer Institute in Bioinformatics is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and is offered as a collaboration between the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) and the i2b2 National Center Center for Biocomputing. For more about this program, see: http://hst.mit.edu/ .