April 27, 2017 at 2:07 pm

Undergrads Selected for Summer Research Internships at Top German Universities

Ohio University sophomores Addy Kruse, Emily Trzeciak and Amy Grube have been selected to complete a three-month summer research internship at top German universities through the nationally competitive DAAD Research Internships in Science and Engineering program.

Kruse, an Honors Tutorial College chemistry major, will conduct research at Heidelberg University, the oldest and one of the best universities in Germany for research. Her project involves analyzing organic technologies, such as carbon nanotubes and polymers, and their applications in electronics.

“There’s a lot of really great chemistry happening in Germany,” Kruse said. “It’s one of the best chemical centers in the world, so it’s going to be really good for me to go experience chemistry over there.”

Kruse has considerable research experience in material sciences, working with Ohio University Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor Dr. Katherine Cimatu. She has also presented her research at a national conference for the American Chemical Society. She aspires to attend graduate school and become a research chemist.

Trzeciak, an Honors Tutorial College biological sciences/pre-med major, will travel to Mainz, Germany, to research melanoma tumors in mice and alter the properties of the macrophages through the use of siRNA and a nano drug delivery system. A key part of cancer cell survival is the ability to evade detection. By altering the properties of macrophages, the hope is to enable macrophages to recognize and actively kill cancer cells without killing healthy cells.

Trzeciak has worked in a cancer research lab for almost two years with Dr. Xiaozhuo Chen from the Edison Biotechnology Institute at Ohio University. Her main focus has been the development of anticancer therapeutics.

Trzeciak first found out about the internship program when she came to the Athens Campus in high school to interview for the Honors Tutorial College. During her time at Ohio University, she has immersed herself into research.

“Finding novel treatments and hopefully one day a cure for cancer has always been something I am incredibly passionate about,” Trzeciak said. “No one should have to suffer or see a loved one suffer from the devastation it causes.”

After graduation, Trzeciak hopes to attend medical school with an oncology specialty. She intends to pursue translational medicine in the oncology field to continue her love of research and helping others.

“This program really has been a dream of mine for years now,” Trzeciak said. “It combines my love of research, medicine and of travel.  I truly believe this program will help me grow as a person and increase my knowledge in oncology to eventually someday become an even better doctor.”

An Honors Tutorial College biochemistry major, Grube accepted an internship with St. Jude’s Pediatric Oncology Education this summer and unfortunately had to decline the DAAD Rise internship.

An Ohio University associate professor of chemistry/biochemistry, Dr. Mark McMills encourages prospective applicants interested in the DAAD Rise program to start early. He suggests students look into the program before the application opens in January and get their essays and letters reviewed. He hopes to see a greater Ohio University presence in the internship program.

“Students are going to get an incredible experience in a lab, an incredible experience in a foreign country,” McMills said. “Everything they do [in DAAD Rise] will make them better students at the end of the day.”

This article was provided by the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards.

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