Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hillary Figler, '14, Working With New Cancer Technology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Hillary Figler, '14, Biological Science/Microbiology, is interning at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY this summer. Her 10 week research program in the Department of Flow and Image Cytometry (http://www.roswellpark.edu/education/summer-programs/college-juniors) includes weekly seminars, field trips and peer mentorships with medical students.

"I am working on my own project titled 'Image Cytometry-Based Detection of Aneuploidy by Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization in Suspension' in which I take white blood cells from blood samples and hybridize flourescent probes to the cells. Using a machine called the ImageStream (it uses lasers and cameras to excite the probes and take pictures) you can see the individual cells from the sample and the probes are visible as colors. With this technology you can identify an abnormal number or translocation in the chromosomes from cancer such as acute myleoid lymphoma. At the end of the program I give a 10 minute presentation on my research findings and present a poster."
As part of her internship, Figler and her fellow interns have also visited some life science companies, Fresenius Kabi and Zeptometrix. She offers the following advice for peers hoping to find an internship:
"Apply to as many internships as possible. Follow up with the locations you apply to, and if possible meet with someone. I arranged a meeting at Roswell with the Department of Flow and Image Cytometry and that's the main reason I got the internship. Its so important. Make sure you utilize all the resources available," she says.