Alyssa recently completed a 6-week research internship at cc-TDI. In her own words, here is a summary of her experience.

My time at cc-TDI has given me the unique opportunity to observe and be involved in the research process, from designing an experiment to contributing to the manuscript. This experience ignited my passion for research and means so much because I almost lost my best friend to Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in high school.

The project I worked on, led by my incredible mentor Samuel Rasmussen, involved specific drug placement in treating leptomeningeal metastases of medulloblastoma tumors. We used a computer-modeled drug concentration spread based on NASA-inspired research to design a microfluidic experiment that imaged tumor cells as they were exposed to the drug, creating a time-lapse to observe the growth and potential hindrance of medulloblastoma metastasis. While we could not conclude that the drug had an effect on established metastases, we did learn of the drug’s potential to prevent new metastases.

Throughout my internship, Samuel and the entire team have been incredibly welcoming, helpful, and passionate about the mission of cc-TDI. Samuel has been tremendous in showing me the research and engineering process within a laboratory setting. I gained experience on how to use a confocal microscope with a microfluidic channel slide, perform drug curves, cell culture, and analyze images using fiji. This project allowed me to apply what I have learned so far with my bioengineering major, such as 3D printing, coding, and troubleshooting.

I am very grateful for having been able to intern at cc-TDI! It has given me a new perspective on my future career plans of either medical school or a Ph.D. program. I am very excited to take the tools I have learned here with me to college and beyond.”

– Alyssa Almer is a junior at Oregon State University majoring in bioengineering with a pre-medical path. Her internship was made possibly in honor and memory of Keith and Zach.

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