Three students selected for Toronto internship
Paul Hickey, Jason Servi, and Constantinos "Dino" Vrakas won't be spending a lot of time on campus this summer. That's because the three University of Wisconsin-Parkside Biological Sciences students leave the day after commencement for a summer internship doing research with Dr. Jeffrey Medin at the University of Toronto's Medical Biophysics Department.
The idea of assisting on cutting edge clinical investigations with one of the most respected cancer and gene therapy researchers in the world is, the students admit, a little intimidating.
"I feel humbled to have the opportunity to do research at a prestigious place like the University of Toronto," Dino Vrakas said. The UW-Parkside trio will spend a minimum of 12 weeks immersed in a research project and attending weekly lunch seminars.
"Our laboratory focuses on basic biomedical research and clinical translation directed towards amelioration of inherited and acquired disorders," said Dr. Medin, who also serves as the department's curriculum coordinator. "We are especially interested in rational applications that interplay with the hematopoietic system."
Writing on the department's web site, Dr. Medin ('85, Biological Sciences) said current laboratory research involves cancer immunotherapy, prostate biomarkers and biology, modulation of acid ceramidase expression, and research on Fabry Disease.
For Paul Hickey, this summer of lab work will help him determine his near term career goals
"This will give me a better idea of what I'm going to pursue: research or lean more toward applied medicine," Hickey said.
Dr. Traci Lee, assistant professor of Biological Sciences, said the students' summer assignments were made possible by the department's connections with Dr. Medin.