Learning the power of collaboration






Biology major and Wheaton Fellow Samantha Farrell ’11 spent her summer working with scientists, engineers and clinicians seeking to improve health care.

Summer work: “My internship was at the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT). CIMIT is a consortium of Boston’s teaching hospitals, such as Mass General, Brigham and Women’s, and Children’s Hospital, and engineering schools, such as Harvard, MIT and Boston University. The center seeks to improve health care through the interdisciplinary collaboration of scientists, engineers and clinicians. It focuses on solving challenging clinical problems through early stage high-risk, high-reward ideas with little access to funding.”

My contribution: “My internship at CIMIT has exposed me to many aspects of health care—from global health to drug delivery. I have assisted in the process of writing a grant for $2 million for a neonatal incubator that will help developing countries. My research on novel methods of drug delivery was used in an informational overview on CIMIT’s web site, as well as in the brochures handed out during an education series on emerging clinical and technical approaches.”

Valuable lessons: “Through this experience I have learned to become an innovative thinker. By constantly being surrounded by intelligent, ambitious and compassionate health professionals and students, I have learned how collaboration among large groups of people fosters the best innovation.”

Campus involvement: “I am a member of Wheaton’s varsity swimming and diving team. I work as a lab technician at Wheaton’s Imaging Center for Undergraduate Collaboration, where I assist with the use of laboratory equipment, such as microscopes and imaging software. Also, I am vice president of Wheaton’s chapter of Tri Beta Biological Honor Society.”

Balancing it all: “I have to manage my time very well. I love the courses I have taken, as well as exercising and competing, so balancing these activities has not been a problem for me since I am always doing something I am passionate about. The support and guidance from all my professors, coaches, teammates and friends have been instrumental to my success as a student-athlete.”

The future: “At this point I am contemplating many different options, including pharmacy school or medical school. I’m also considering biomedical engineering and clinical research. I have a strong interest in medical applications of biotechnology and I hope to ultimately incorporate this into my career.”

Samantha Farrell is at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, this semester through December 18, focusing on biotechnology and biomedicine.