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Loughborough University student awarded Harvard Stem Cell Institute internship

Aug
04

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Elizabeth Cheeseman, an engineering student at Loughborough University, is one of forty undergraduate students accepted into the 2014 Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) Internship Program, which provides participants with a challenging summer research experience in a cutting-edge stem cell science laboratory. Notably, she is the first student in the history of the program to win a sponsored stay at the Institute through a UK-wide competition run by the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacture in Regenerative Medicine.

Elizabeth is spending ten weeks, from June 9 to August 15, in the Center for Human Cell Therapy at Boston Children’s Hospital, under the guidance of HSCI Affiliated Faculty member Myriam Armant, PhD. The Center provides researchers with the infrastructure to rapidly translate a discovery from the laboratory to the clinic. Elizabeth’s project this summer is to develop a way to label lung stem cells using iron particles, which would be useful to track the cells using MRI scanners if infused in a patient with a disease like emphysema.

“The internship has been both challenging and stimulating, and given me experience in clinical applications that I would not otherwise have been exposed to,” Elizabeth said. “My colleagues have been exceptionally supportive and encouraging, and I am so grateful to have this opportunity.”

Over the course of the program, interns participate in a stem cell seminar series, a career pathways presentation, and a weekly stem cell companion course. They present their summer research findings, both orally and in poster format, at an end-of-program symposium.

“This program represents an exciting opportunity for undergraduates to gain hands-on experience in stem cell research while working in an HSCI laboratory under the supervision of an experienced researcher,” said HSCI Internship Program co-director M. William Lensch, PhD.

The Harvard Stem Cell Institute gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the following sponsors for the 2014 HSCI Internship Program: Biogen Idec, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Regenerative Medicine, Loughborough University (UK), Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

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The Harvard Stem Cell Institute is a collaborative of more than 1,000 leading scientists, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students who are affiliated with one or more of the University’s schools and affiliated hospitals and medical institutions, and are working to advance the understanding and use of stem cells in basic research and regenerative medicine.