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Papadopoulos Scholars discuss internships


2008-09-16

huffordleftWofford College’s three Daniel/Papadopoulos Scholars had a pretty busy summer. Jonathan Hufford (Wofford’s current Presidential International Scholar), Kristin Kountz and Manan Gupta all discussed their internships last week in Dr. Angela Shiflet’s class. Shiflet was instrumental in setting up their internships.

Hufford (left), a biology major with an emphasis in computational science, spent his summer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif.

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“I worked with the Information technology group of the Security Organization of Lawrence Livermore Laboratory,” says Hufford. “I worked to update Web publishing and security procedures for the lab. Also, I worked to help bring Vision II (a highly sophisticated computer system) online and help test it.”

Kountz (right), a chemistry major with a concentration in computational science, got a coveted internship at Vanderbilt Medical School in Nashville, Tenn. She worked on protein sequence coverage, visualizing tandem mass spectrometry date with SVG. She tried to put that in layman’s terms.

“What we did helps people studying proteins to identify a sample,” she says. We created a program to help analyze data from a tandem mass spectrometer for the purpose of visualizing protein sequence coverage.”

Gupta (below), a chemistry and computer science major with a concentration in computational science who spent his summer at the Systems Biology Institute in Seattle, Wash., worked in a similar field.

guptaleft“My internship in Seattle was about finding better methods to return database results when you search for a protein in a protein database,” he says. “Say you have the amino acid sequence of a protein. If you try to identify that protein from a database search, my internship focused on ordering the results the database returns in a better manner that makes sense as the database changes.

“The other part of my internship was about designing methods for the computer to use to find the similar proteins in humans. We refer to these as orthologs, which are proteins that we have in common with mice because of us sharing a common ancestor.”

It was more complicated than reading “Of Mice and Men”, to be sure. All three students excelled in their environments, another tribute to the excellent job done by Shiflet in arranging internships for Wofford students.