OHSU summer internship provides hands-on learning

Maria Marin

The Robert D. Clark Honors College and Oregon Health & Science University have awarded Maria Marin a prestigious OHSU summer internship.

Marin recently graduated from the UO and Clark Honors College with the Class of 2017. She will work in Portland alongside expert researchers and practitioners at one of the nation’s top-ranked academic health centers.

This is the third year in a row that honors college students have received coveted spots within the OHSU summer research internships. Dean Terry Hunt established a partnership with OHSU in 2015 to help give the many honors students who are interested in medical school and research the opportunity to get professional experience.

With biology as the most popular major within the honors college, and human physiology a close second, Hunt said that a partnership with OHSU is a perfect fit for high-performing students aspiring to top-ranked graduate programs.

Marin won’t be too far from home for the summer, and she’s no stranger to the research lab. A biochemistry major from Portland, Marin participated in UO’s Summer Program for Undergraduate Research before the start of this year, where she worked with professor Annie Powell from the Institute of Molecular Biology studying intestinal stem cells.

Marin said she’s glad to have that experience under her belt as she prepares for the OHSU program. She’ll be working in a one- or two-person research team in the developmental and cancer biology department. Marin will help analyze and track the development of cancer cells, work that will later inform treatment programs.

After the internship, Marin will work part time as a medical scribe for an emergency room physician at Legacy Hospital in Portland.

“With my other free time, I’ll be studying for the MCAT and applying for medical school,” she said.

Ultimately, Marin wants to pursue either an medical degree or a doctorate in some field of biology or chemistry, but she hasn’t decided on a focus quite yet. “I hope that this experience will solidify my career path,” she said.

Students interested in similar undergraduate research opportunities, in the medical field or elsewhere, should consider applying to the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Additionally, the Clark Honors College will open applications for next year’s OHSU summer internships in January 2018.

—By Derek Maiolo, Clark Honors College multimedia communications assistant