Sarah Spence is interning in our lab this summer, working with KTB Biospecimen Manager Theresa Mathieson and KTB Research Scientist Natascia Marino. Sarah, who is from Brownsburg, IN, came to us through unusual channels. KTB Executive Director Dr. Anna Maria Storniolo is her mom’s oncologist. Dr. Storniolo received an email from Sarah’s mom asking if there was a place for a lab intern this summer, and are we glad to have her!
Sarah will be a sophomore next year at IU Bloomington, majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. She would like to have a career working in a lab setting, possibly in cancer research or pathology. Her mom contracted breast cancer when Sarah was in 5th grade, sparking an interest in studying science and cancer in particular. She thought briefly about med school, but decided that working in the lab to help find a cure was the way to go. Her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer again recently and is a couple of chemo treatments away from the end of her treatment. We are all praying that this time it is gone for good!
Sarah has a younger brother and sister, both still in high school, and the family has a dog named Rebel. Her dad is retired from project management in IT and her mom works in compliance at Midwest ISO, the electrical company that runs the electric grid for all of the Midwest and parts of Canada.
Sarah loves to exercise – she is an avid biker and golfer. Her whole family golfs – her sister is on the Brebeuf golf team and Sarah started golfing at a very young age. She doesn’t get to golf as often as she used to and misses it. She bikes the Monon from Broad Ripple to Carmel often as a day trip, though, and does activities out-of-doors whenever she can.
This is the first time the KTB has had an intern assigned solely to our lab, and Sarah is blazing quite a trail. There are two main projects lined up for her this summer, but so far she has been working primarily with laser microdissection for a project with Dr. Hari Nakshatri, cutting out tissue samples which will then be studied in another lab. It is slow, careful work but Sarah finds it enjoyable and very educational. She believes this internship will directly increase not only her knowledge when she gets back into the classroom, but also her confidence in doing lab work. Sarah wants to tell everyone at the KTB how much she is enjoying this experience, and to thank them for this opportunity.