Augustus Kram Mendelsohn ’20 assists professor with research
Hometown: St. Louis, Mo.
Winternship: Working on neuro lab, rat brain research with Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology Lisa Maeng in the Imaging Center for Undergraduate Collaboration (ICUC) lab at Wheaton as part of a collaboration with MIT
Funding source: The Nancy Lyon Porter ’43 Community Service Fellowship
Facilitating fascination: “I chose to major in neuroscience because I am completely fascinated by the brain. For the winternship I worked on identifying slides, imaging them and quantifying cell counts. The original experiment was performed by Professor Maeng to see how estrogen administration affects the signaling pathway in fear learning and memory in rats. My time in the lab was spent measuring and quantifying extracellular signal-related kinase expression in cells sectioned from the brains of the rats she tested. Before the winternship I worked with Professor Maeng to section rat brains using the cryostat for an experiment that she is part of involving a novel method of adrenal stimulation created at MIT.”
On the right course: “My neuroscience and biology courses helped me to prepare for this internship. Some of the most relevant courses were ‘Brain, Mind and Behavior,’ ‘Drugs and Behavior,’ and ‘Quantitative Research Methods.’”
Field work: “I spent most of my time organizing, identifying, quantifying and taking photos of slides in the ICUC lab. I also traveled to MIT with Professor Maeng so that I could see their facility and watch as Professor Maeng and her colleague used a confocal microscope to identify slides.”
Developing skills: “I learned how to use the microscopes in the ICUC lab, quantify cells using ImageJ and photograph rat brain cells. I’m very sure that I will use these skills with any further research I participate in. The experience also gave me a chance to see that I can work independently on long term projects and meet goals consistently.”
Mastering the learning curve: “After practicing with the software for a few days I was able to become proficient with it and could perform my duties quickly and accurately.”
Setting the stage: “I am hoping to further my education either by attending medical or graduate school after graduation. This internship allowed me to experience research in a lab setting and will hopefully help me transition into the next stage of my education.”
Augustus Kram Mendelsohn is the president of the German Club and the fundraising chair for the Ultimate Frisbee Club. He previously interned for BLUBERYL, an education consultation firm.