Canary Center Summer Interns: Part One
August 7, 2014
By: Shannon Boselli, Canary Foundation Intern
In this two part series, we’ll highlight a handful of our summer interns, here at the Canary Center.
These 5 interns, along with 21 others, ranging from high school to college students, are interning this summer at the Canary Center at Stanford. They’re having their first taste of what real lab work is like, and they are able to apply the work they have done in the classroom to the pursuit of early cancer detection. We have highlighted five interns and the specific work they are doing in various Canary Center labs.
Cheylene Tanimoto- Stanford student, Pitteri Lab
Cheylene Tanimoto is a 19-year-old junior at Stanford University majoring in Chemistry as well as an intern in the Pitteri lab at the Canary Center. Cheylene and her mentor Sarah are working to find biomarkers for early cancer detection in the proteome of prostate and breast cancer. After taking a class called “The Cancer Problem” at Stanford in which several misconceptions about cancer were discussed, her interest with cancer research was piqued. The hardest part of her work here at the Canary Center is the transition from textbook to application of the material she has learned in school. Conversely, the easiest part is being enthused and energetic about the work she is doing in the lab. Cheylene loves thinking about the possibility of “developing a simple, affordable, non-invasive test to detect prostate or breast cancer in its early stages.” This acts as a motivation to come to work every day and contribute to the noble cause. Upon graduation from Stanford she hopes to pursue a doctorate in Biochemistry.
Vincent Lin- Harvard student, Gambhir Lab
Vincent Lin is a 19-year-old sophomore at Harvard University studying Chemical and Physical Biology. At the Canary Center, he is working with Dr. Raj
Kothapalli and Dr. Jesse Jokerst in the lab of Dr. Gambhir developing novel multimodal contrast agents for cancer tumor imaging that can monitor fundamental cellular and molecular events in living subjects. He was attracted to the Canary Foundation by his personal interests in cancer research and specifically early cancer detection. He also loves the opportunity to work with leading researchers in outstanding facilities at the Canary Center at Stanford. He knows that the actual challenge of finding a marker of cancer early is the most difficult part of his internship but he relishes the opportunity to come to the lab everyday and tackle the challenge. A particular potent quote from Vincent says, “I will certainly take skills, connections, and confidence away from this internship, but more than that, I’ve been inspired by the hardworking people I’ve collaborated with, Dr. Gambhir and Mr. Listwin, and by their vision of a world where cancer can be detected and treated in a way that stops and prevents the suffering of too many friends and families.” During his free time Vincent enjoys reading, playing basketball, and hanging out with friends. Upon graduation Vincent hopes to pursue a post doctorate degree and continue to perform research.
Christina Day- Davis student, Demirci lab
Christina Day, and 18-year-old student at UC Davis studying Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, is an intern in the Demirci lab at the Canary Center this summer. She is working with her mentor, Albert in the Bio-Acoustic MEMS in Medicine Labs (BAMM) to apply micro- and nonoscale technologies to problems in medicine, specifically in exosomes in small RNA molecule delivery for gene silencing in cancerous cells. Christina hopes to go to graduate school and later conduct industry research in a field of science she has yet to choose. Christina loves the academic yet applied-research environment setting at the Canary Center as well as the new set of skills she is gaining being in the Demirci lab. Even though she is shy by nature, she has learned to reach out to both interns and postdocs to learn about their research and experiences at the Canary Center, and will use this skill in her future lab work. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, snowboarding, reading, and learning about renewable resources through online courses at UC Davis. She even educates the community about traditional Chinese music through volunteer performances with her Chinese bamboo flute, the dizi. Christina has learned two important things through her time at the Canary Center. The first is that the Canary Center coffee machines are the best around. The second is that the diversity of people working at the Center has added to the wealth and depth of opportunities and success that they have found in the few years that it has been open. She hopes that she can take her new skills, outgoing demeanor, and knowledge of what a successful lab looks like, and bring it to her presence in future labs around the world.