Summer Internships

injectionsLoretta Grey Cloud (Dakota-Lakota)

Han, A Wica Hde Pin Win or Loretta Grey Cloud Emakiyapi Ye.

Hello, My name is œshe brings the people home woman or Loretta Grey Cloud. I am an enrolled tribal member of Kul Wicasa (Lakota) and Hunkpati (Dakota) Sioux blood. Originally from South Dakota I currently am a senior in the Life Science program at Salish Kootenai College (SKC) in Pablo, MT. This past summer I had the opportunity to complete an internship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda Maryland. I am interested in oral health research and was accepted to work at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) under Dr. Bugge. While interning in Dr. Bugges lab I was able to use the lab skills I learned from working in the Cellular and Molecular Biology Lab at SKC. The first day I jumped right into doing lab work. After a week I was able to perform lab procedures such as immunohistochemistry without immediate supervision.

The research I carried out while at NIDCR was titled Comparative Efficacy and Mechanism of Action of uPA and MMP-Activated Engineered Anthrax Toxins Towards B16-BL6 Melanoma. I plan on presenting this research at the annual AISES, AIHEC and possibly ASM meeting this year. I was involved in the third trial of testing engineered anthrax toxins toward B16-BL6 melanoma in mice.  My tasks included: growing the tumor cells, injecting melanoma cells into mice, treatment with toxin, observation and recording all findings. I was then able to perform the immunohistochemistry on several different proteins of interest and quantify the data. I think it is important to point out that I could interpret the data and understand what I was seeing. I feel like SKC and all the advisors in our program helped me become this educated and well-rounded researcher. I was recently invited back for a post baccalaureate position and will be returning to the NIDCR after graduating from SKC this spring. I will also be an author on the above titled paper. This experience solidified my interest in oral cancer/health research as my future career. Even though I worked hard all summer it was a really fun experience.

rayelRayel Brown (A’ahnii)

This past summer I participated in an internship at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana through the Bridges to Baccalaureate Program and National Institute for Health. My research throughout the summer was Modifications to the Ionic Shell of the Nanoparticle during Electrokinetic Chromatography (EKC); where I was altering the chemical structure of nanoparticles to use in an improved method of analytical separation, Electrokinetic Chromatography. It was found that nanoparticles work more efficiently in the process; rather then micelles, and we were looking for different ways to improve the mobility rate of these nanoparticles even more. This was a great experience for me as a young student in my degree program; it gave me more interest and motivation to work towards furthering my education in this field. I received so much hands on experience and first-hand knowledge that I’ll be able to utilize for my future. I plan on obtaining my degree in Life Sciences from Salish Kootenai College and go on to become a certified medical lab technician. However, my overall goal is to work towards an Masters Degree in Microbiology. With this being my first internship, I believe I received plenty of confidence that I’m able to accomplish my goals and aspirations. I also plan representing my research at conferences such as the IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research (INBRE) annual conference,  American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) annual conference,  American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) annual conference, and the Drug Discovery Re-Invented through Fusion Conferences.  I’m more than thankful for opportunities like these and I find it’s truly a blessing to be able to participate in programs like these. I’m looking forward to a future with more research and participation in internships along the way. Again, thank you for the opportunity.

treyTrey Saddler (Chippewa-Cree)

This summer I worked at the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in Research Triangle Park, NC as an undergrate student research intern.  I worked in the lab of Dr. Darlene Dixon, Head of the Molecular Pathogenesis Group.  Her lab is part of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) housed at NIEHS. The title of the project I was assigned to was Changes in Epigenetic Chromatin Modification Enzymes in Human Endometrial Cells Exposed to Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA). A 2-year NTP study of the effects of TBBPA on mice found that this chemical caused endometrial tumors. My assignment was to examine the effects of TBBPA on human endometrial cells (HECs).  I exposed HECs to TBBPA in varying concentrations over specific time periods and looked at how it affected the cell proliferation and gene expression of the cells. I utilized various techniques like Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), Western blot, and immune fluorescence (MTS) assays to evaluate whether there was any response from the HECs to the TBBPA exposure. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it definitely got me excited for my upcoming internship with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) next summer. The experiences I have had so far in the SKC Life Sciences labs and my outside internship performing research in a range of fields has motivated me to pursue an advanced degree in scientific research, although I am still unsure as to exactly what field I would like to continue studying.

Trey Saddler is a junior in the SKC Life Sciences Program and has been a student intern since spring 2011.  He is s also an EPA GRO Scholar.

ajAJ Somers (Ketchikan)

My names AJ Somers , currently I am a junior at Salish Kootenai College ( SKC) in Pablo, Montana . I am an enrolled member with the Ketchikan Inidan tribal community of Alaska. This summer I conducted research in the Department of Medicinal Chemsitry, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences as an undergraduate at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. I worked under Dr. Yvonne Linn, assistant professor of the Department of Pharmaceutics and Tauri Senn, a master’s student in the same lab. The title of my project was Development of a Targeted Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectromtry (LC/MS) Approach to Screen for 182 Pesticides in Urine Samples. This research is part of the Childrens Health Foundation to look for pescticides that play a part in disease. My goal was to develop a urinary screening method to determine how and when individuals might be exposed to various pesticides. I anaylized urine of farmworkers and nonfarmworks, adults and children to detect potential pesticides that casue threats to human health. The urine samples were prepared by the addition of acetonitrile to precipitate proteins, and the supernatant was removed, evaporated and reconstituted for analysis. Standards and samples were analyzed using a Waters Xevo TQD UPLC-MS/MS, other methods used were LC/MS, and High Pressure Luiquid Chromatography ( HPLC). I enjoyed my experience at the UW, and continue to stay in touch with the faculty I worked with to help prepare me for poster presentations at upcoming scientifc reasearch conferences. Working as an intern at UW and continuing research at SKC keeps me motivated to pursue graduate school and laboratory research.