My name is Jordyn Karliner and during the summer of 2016 I participated in the 10 week Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program at Drexel University College of Medicine, where I interned in a spinal cord injury research lab. I was mentored by a current graduate student and worked on my own project exploring interneuron recruitment after cervical spinal cord injury. Throughout the 10 weeks, I learned many valuable research techniques such as sectioning, immunostaining, and imaging. At the end of the program, I presented my findings to other SURF students and Drexel faculty, and was even able to co-author a manuscript that has been published!
What Was Valuable About the Experience
The most valuable part of my internship was getting to experience what it is like to conduct research full-time in a graduate lab. As someone planning to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience after graduating from Ursinus, it was a wonderful opportunity to be able to experience first-hand the time, dedication, and patience required to be a successful graduate student. During my 10 weeks, I became proficient at multitasking, troubleshooting, and reading scientific literature, and was able to attend conferences and meetings with the rest of the lab and make great connections with Drexel faculty. In addition to this exposure, I greatly valued all of the lab techniques I was taught during my internship, because it has greatly helped me in my research at Ursinus.
The Coolest Part of the Experience
The coolest part of my experience was being able to present my research at Drexel’s Discovery Day poster conference in October 2016, and being a co-author on a published paper. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to practice presenting at a large poster conference, and even received third place in the undergraduate poster competition! Not many undergraduate students have the opportunity to publish a paper in a reputable scientific journal, and I am really proud that I was able to be a part of this after just 10 weeks of research!
Who I Met that Made a Difference
All of the members of the lab in which I was a part definitely made a difference in my summer experience, especially my mentor and principal investigator (PI). Even though everyone was always hard at work, the environment in the lab was very friendly and stress-free, which made the work day all the more enjoyable! All of the lab members were so helpful whenever I had a question, and really wanted me to succeed at my project. Even though I was only a part of the lab for 10 weeks, they made me feel like I was a permanent part of their team, which made the entire experience so much more rewarding!
Penn Valley, Pennsylvania
Writing Fellow, President of Nu Rho Psi National Honor Society in Neuroscience, Peer Tutor, Biology Lab TA, Escape Velocity, Dance Team, Ursinus College Dance Company