This summer, Brandon Williams ’16 had his first internship. Not only did he gain valuable experience, he also learned lessons about what it means to be a researcher.
Williams, a biochemistry major and Community Merit Scholar, spent three months working as a research assistant at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, under the direction of Amy Deveau, an associate professor of chemistry at the university, and Kristin Burkholder, an assistant professor of biology.
The team’s research is centered on two types of sea lettuce that are common along the Maine coast. The primary focus of the research involves looking into the antimicrobial effects of sea lettuce extracts upon several clinically relevant pathogens; many types of seaweeds have been shown to exhibit antimicrobial activity.
“The significance of this is that with further research, the extracts from various types of seaweeds may potentially serve an important role in disease prevention and treatment in the future,” said Williams, who plans to go to medical school after graduating from Wheaton.
Looking back over the summer, he notes that the most enjoyable part of the internship was also the most challenging. [Read more...]