Victor Chen and Vishesh Jain, both Gr. 12, were just two of the many students keeping busy with internships this summer. Both, along with fellow senior Navin Sabharwal and Tiphane Delapine, Gr. 9, were interns at Hunter Laboratories in Campbell, which is owned by Harker parents Chris and Marcia Riedel (Randall, Gr. 9, and Hunter, Gr. 6). “I chose to do this internship because it offered me a great opportunity to work in an actual clinical laboratory setting,” Chen said. “I was able to gain insight into the routines, rules and regulations of the lab workplace, and the project that I chose has a significant and direct impact on patients’ health.”
While at Hunter Chen spent most of his time working on his own research project. “My project focused on human papillomavirus (HPV) and the effectiveness of a new test, based on messenger RNA, as a screening method for HPV infection and cervical cancer,” he said. His duties included assisting with the tests and analyzing the results.
Jain chose to do an internship at Hunter Labs “because it offered both a chance to experience science and research in the corporate realm and an opportunity to write a research article for a scholarly journal,” he said. “Further, the actual parameters and final destination of the internship were rather vague at first, but I enjoyed that flexibility and the choices it gave me throughout the summer.”
During the internship, Jain was given the responsibility of running a variety of calculations on the “enormous data collection of various cardiovascular tests and questions for over 3,000 patients,” he said. “I was given this data bank to sort and run a myriad of calculations with, from creating histograms for the tests, age and risk factors to revealing the prevalence of hidden risk markers in the population.”
Using his findings, Jain began writing an article “which involved additional calculations, research into other publications and preparation of a manuscript for review,” he said. He hopes that the article will be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Jain said his favorite part of the internship was participating in meetings with Hunter Laboratories executives, which often included people from other companies. “These meetings both allowed me to practice presenting scientific material in an intelligible manner and gave me a glimpse into the real mechanisms and relationships in the corporate world,” he said.
Chen enjoyed the opportunity to work in the lab, “not just doing number crunching. I was very pleased that I could research with actual patient samples and have access to various high-tech equipment.”