Meesha Ahuja Pennsylvania State University, Biology
A sophomore this fall at Pennsylvania State University, majoring in Biology, Meesha will intern with John Doctor, PhD, at Duquesne University, Department of Biological Sciences. Her research will focus on bone regeneration using adult mesenchymal stem cells. Her overall lab experience will entail adult stem cell culture, basic cell biology assays, and microscope work. In her spare time, Meesha enjoys playing tennis and running. Other favorite activities include shopping and dining at the Waterfront are among Meesha’s interests. After graduating Meesha plans to attend medical or graduate school.
Kimberly Albrecht University of Pittsburgh, Bioengineering
Kim is interning with Saleem Khan, PhD at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where she will focus on various aspects and applications of gene therapy and gene expression profiles. Recreational interests include biking, running, and tennis. She believes some of the best ways to enjoy a weekend in Pittsburgh include a visit to the Strip District, and/or Waterfront coupled with biking along the Eliza Furnace Trail.
Steven Aussenberg Brown University, Biology
An intern with Paula Clemens, MD, PhD, at the University, Department of Neurology and Molecular Genetics, Steven’s research will focus on gene delivery to striated muscle. This coming fall, Steven will be a senior at Brown University, where he will complete his undergraduate degree in Biology. He enjoys cycling, music, movies, pool, and spending time outdoors in many of Pittsburgh’s public parks.
Andrea Beyer Cedar Crest College, Genetic Engineering
Andrea completed her junior year at Cedar Crest College this fall where she is working on completing her undergraduate degree in genetic engineering. Her summer internship placement is with Darrell Ellsworth, PhD, Director of Molecular Genetics at the Windber Research Institute. While at Windber, Andrea’s research will expose her to a wide range of molecular genetics techniques, including laser microdissection, DNA isolation, capillary electrophoresis and genotyping. Andrea reports a love of poetry, running, and backpacking. She also enjoys spectator sports, such as baseball and hockey.
Amber Clausi Pennsylvania State University, Chemical Engineering
A senior at Pennsylvania State College, Amber will be interning with William Federspiel, PhD, Director of Research of the Artificial Lung Lab at the University of Pittsburgh. As a research intern, she will be an active participant in the development of artificial lung devices for the treatment of patients with respiratory failure. After graduating from Pennsylvania State University, she plans to attend graduate school at the University of Colorado. Amber enjoys a wide range of outdoor activities, as well as music and travel.
Diana Marie Dongell University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown, Biology
Diana completed her senior year at the University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown this fall, where she received her undergraduate degree in Biology. As a participant in the PTEI summer internship program, she will be working with Huihua Fu, PhD, a Molecular Biologist at Carnegie Mellon University, Bone Tissue Engineering Center. Through her summer research experience, Diana will be gene expression and gene delivery systems that are related to human bone repair and regeneration. Diana believes one of the best ways to spend a summer weekend in Pittsburgh is to soak up the sun at Sand Castle. She also enjoys the occasional summer BBQ, as well as watching the Pirates play at PNC Park.
Jennifer Erhart Pennsylvania State-University Park, Mechanical Engineering
Jennifer will be a senior at Pennsylvania State and is majoring in Mechanical Engineering. She is interning with Joseph Ahearn, MD, at the University of Pittsburgh, Division of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology, Arthritis Institute and Lupus Center of Excellence. Her research is focused on areas of immunology and autoimmune disease and implications for tissue engineering. Jennifer enjoys, dancing, yoga, spending time with friends, reading, and doing crafts.
Jessica L. Geisler University of Pittsburgh, Molecular Biology
A Biology major, Jessica will begin her senior year at the University of Pittsburgh this fall. Jessica is spending her summer in the laboratory of Constance Chu, MD, at the University of Pittsburgh, where she will be involved in a project using advanced imaging and molecular techniques on the role of selected growth factors in stimulating or maintaining a cartilage cell phenotype. Jessica enjoys reading, camping, volleyball, rock climbing, and water sports.
Stephanie Harwood Geneva College, Chemistry/Biology and Chemistry
Stephanie is an intern with Joseph Pilewski, MD, at the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Medicine, Cell Biology and Physiology. Stephanie’s work is related to an ongoing laboratory project that that seeks to develop gene transfer approaches for the treatment of early stage lung cancers and pre-malignant airway lesions. Stephanie plans to go on to graduate school after obtaining a Bachelors degree in both biology and chemistry. Through her exposure to tissue engineering research, she hopes to be able to better define where her future academic and career interests lie.
Lily Jeng North Carolina State University, Biological and Agricultural Engineering
This summer will find Lily working with Savio Woo, PhD, at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Musculoskeletal Research Center. She will be focused on the mechanical and biological characterization of tissue engineered, collagen scaffolds. Lily will be a junior at North Carolina State University this fall, where she is majoring in Biological and Agricultural Engineering. Lily enjoys volunteering, Chinese studies, traveling, reading, and computers. Lily has plans to attend a MD/PhD program after completing her undergraduate studies.
Emily Marie Kowalik Grove City College, Molecular Biology
Emily will spend the summer working in the laboratory of Kacey Marra, PhD, at the University of Pittsburgh, Departments of Surgery and Bioengineering. Emily’research will mainly focus on biomaterials-related projects in the area of nerve and skin regeneration and controlled drug delivery. She is a biology undergraduate major, and will be a senior at Grove City College next year. Emily enjoys playing volleyball, racquetball, and ultimate Frisbee. A best-spent weekend in Pittsburgh involves a doing yard work followed-up with a picnic at home to celebrate a hard day’s work.
Kristen Moffat Carnegie Mellon University, Materials Science and Engineering and Biomedical Engineering
A senior this year at Carnegie Mellon University, Kristen plans to attend graduate school at Columbia University. Her internship is with Kacey Marra, PhD., at the University of Pittsburgh, Departments of Surgery and Bioengineering. Along with one other PTEI summer intern, Kristen will become engaged in biomaterials-related projects in the area of nerve and skin regeneration and controlled drug delivery. Kristen enjoys playing tennis and softball. She also reports great enthusiasm for the theater and travel.
Melissa Moidel Dickinson College, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
A Biochemistry/Molecular Biology major, Melissa (nicknamed Missy) will begin her junior year at Dickinson College this fall. She will spend her summer working in the laboratory of Michael Rhodes, PhD, at Allegheny-Singer Research Institute. This summer, Ms. Moidel will work on an in vitro hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is an important endocrine modulator of the body’s response to stress. Her work will involve experiments to further characterize the effectiveness of this in vitro system, as well as its responsiveness to pharmacological and hormonal challenges. Missy’s interests are playing softball, swimming, going to the movies and going to Starbucks. She believes a great weekend spent in Pittsburgh would be taking a trip to the Carnegie Science Center or shopping at Station Square.
Evan E. Neft Pennsylvania State University, Biology and History
This summer will find Evan working with Garth D. Ehrlich, PhD, at the Allegheny-Singer Research Institute, Center for Genomic Sciences, where his research focus will be on developing an understanding of the molecular and cellular differences between scarless fetal healing and the adult scarification process. Once such differences have been catalogued, a research extension will be to reverse engineer adult wounds to heal in a scarless manner. Evan will be a senior this fall at Pennsylvania State University, where he is majoring in Biology and History. Evan enjoys rowing, running, watching, and participating in sports.
A Cognitive Science major, Kishan will begin his sophomore year at Northwestern University this fall. He will spend his summer working in the laboratory of Richard Somiari, PhD, at the Windber Research Institute, where he will assist in research that will include high throughput proteomic tools to define pattern of protein expression in breast cancer cells in 2D and 3D cultures. Some interests of Kishan are running, playing street ball, and discussing a good Radiohead CD. He would like to spend a weekend in Pittsburgh walking the city with friends.
Andrew Pogozelski Georgetown University, Chemistry
Andrew completed his junior year at Georgetown University in June and plans to go to Medical School after graduation. He is interning with Johnny Huard, PhD, at the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery & Molecular Genetics. This summer Andrew’s research work will focus on muscle-based gene therapy and tissue engineering for the musculoskeletal system and tissue engineering methods to deliver dystrophin to muscle. Andrew’s hobbies are golf, basketball and tutoring local elementary school students.
Caitlin Polley University of Notre Dame, Biology and Spanish
Caitlin is an intern this summer with Leaf Huang, PhD, at the University of Pittsburgh, and is working on can’t make out the writing on the sheet. A senior this fall at University of Notre Dame, Caitlin is excited to attend Medical School after graduation. Some interests of Caitlin’s are religion, traveling, languages, dancing and Shakespeare. She also believes a best spent weekend in Pittsburgh would be a picnic on the lawn outside of the Cathedral of Learning.
Shilpa Reddy Carnegie Mellon University, Biology
An intern with Robert Parker, PhD, at the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Chemical Engineering, Shilpa will be engaged in developing mathematical modeling of physiological systems. Shilpa will be a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon University this fall, majoring in Biology. Her interests are Indian classical dance and lacrosse. Her plan for after graduation is to attend medical school.
Parag P. Shah Carnegie Mellon University, Chemical Engineering
Parag, who will be a senior this fall at Carnegie Mellon University, majoring in Chemical Engineering will intern with Christopher Niyibizi, PhD, a t the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine. His research focus will be to isolate and characterize murine bone marrow derived stem cells for engraftment in a murine model of a brittle bone disease. When not in the lab, Parag enjoys playing tennis, basketball and foosball.
Robert J. Toth University of Pittsburgh, Chemical Engineering
This summer will find Robert (nickname Bob) working with David Vorp, PhD, at the University of Pittsburgh/McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine, where his focus of research will be a project that utilities progenitor cell isolation, culture and differentiation, vascular perfusion, microscopy. Biomechanical measurements and other techniques related to the development of a tissue-engineered blood vessel. Bob enjoys sports of all kinds, classical literature, politics, and music.
Anita Vin George Washington University, Biological Anthropology
Anita will be a junior at George Washington University, majoring in Biological Anthropology. She is interning with Joseph Ahearn, MD at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology, Arthritis Institute and Lupus Center of Excellence. Through her work with Dr. Ahearn where she will gain knowledge as related to immunology and autoimmune disease. Her interests are dance and choreography, music and travel. She plans to attend Medical school of after graduation.