Young Completes Medical Research Internship
Jamie Young, who graduated from UMF with a bachelor's degree in biology, completed a research internship at Maine Medical Center Research Institute (MMCRI) in Scarborough the summer between her junior and senior years.
Young's research was part of an investigation to see if erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone secreted by the kidney that stimulates red blood cell production, has protective and healing effects against toxins in mouse kidney cells. She introduced EPO to both toxin-contaminated and healthy kidney cells to measure not only to what degree the hormone might protect and heal, but also its healing potential in relation to the level of toxin exposure. What’s the real-world benefit? Young’s lab experiments could lead to better treatments for acute kidney failure.
“I was surrounded by other interns from places like Columbia, Cornell, Harvard and Princeton. I felt like a minority, but I never thought I was at any disadvantage. The teachers at UMF are amazing. We just got a new DNA sequencer in the genetics lab. That’s not something most small public liberal arts colleges have,” said Young, referring to the Department of Natural Science’s $76,000 acquisition. The DNA sequencer was paid for, in part, by a Genomics in Education Matching Funds Grant written by Jean Doty, associate professor of biology and chair of the natural sciences department.
The paid research opportunity at MMCRI, the clinical-research branch of Maine Medical Center focusing on molecular biology and genetics, was Young’s second microbiology-related internship. After achieving the highest semester marks in Doty’s genetics class, Young won UMF’s Mills Internship Award for Science Study to spend summer 2005 working in the genotyping lab at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor.