My career in the sciences has been very short yet very rewarding. When I was in high school, the first real job that I ever received was at the Cleveland Clinic. I had applied for and received a research internship in a prestigious program sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic’s Office of Civic Education Initiatives. The research internship program was composed of nine 40 hour weeks, where I was under the tutelage of some of the best healthcare and scientific professionals in the world. Moreover, the other interns in the program were some of the smartest and most interesting students in my immediate geographical area.
I was specifically assigned to the Molecular Biotechnology Core at the Lerner Research Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, where I was to be conducting research on the proteomic basis of male infertility. The research was striving to answer question such as “What proteins are absent from or dysfunctional in spermatozoa that cause impotency?” and “Why are these proteins absent or dysfunctional?” At the end of the project, we discovered that there were several specific proteins that were absent or dysfunctional in infertile spermatozoa. Further research will be conducted to gain a greater understanding for why these proteins are absent and dysfunctional and to search for possible medical treatments to solve this pathology.
I enjoyed my research internship at Cleveland Clinic so much that I returned for another year. However, I was assigned to a new research area with a new mentor and I was asked to collaborate extensively with several other research interns and other healthcare and science professionals. The time that I spent with these people was inspiring because I was exposed to their immense passion for science and for humanity.
The research lab that I was assigned to was the Spine Research Lab at Lutheran Hospital, where I was asked to help with several research projects. The first was concerned with several neuropsychological tests that are meant to assess concussed athlete before and after concussion. The second study concerned collecting anthropometric data on youth football player’s heads and necks in relation to their helmet sizes, but I only participate in the data collection of this study as my research internship ended before the completion of that project.
Beyond the scientific scope of these research experiences, I developed unforgettable relationships with not only medical professionals but also with many of my potential future colleagues. My life has been changed for the better and I have become a more mature and passionate person because of fellow interns. I have done my best to maintain these relationships and hope that they mean great things for science, medicine, and the world.