Who's Using the NCI-Frederick Scientific Library?

Written by Dr. Kirill Afonin, Mentor to Jen Hofmann
Center for Cancer Research Nanobiology Program
September/October 2013

At the beginning of June, Jen Hofmann joined our laboratory as a summer intern student of the Werner H Kirsten program. Over the past three years, I have had the opportunity of co-mentoring with Dr. Bruce Shapiro a total of five SIP students and Jen, so to speak, is the "third generation" of interns working with me. Currently, she is successfully learning the basic techniques of RNA biology and carrying out some experiments together with the former SIP students Marissa Stepler and Alison Sappe, who kindly decided to stay with us during this summer and assist in teaching our new interns. Jen Hoffman and Ashlee Vrzak (another SIP student) are currently helping me on several research projects dealing with RNA-based therapeutic nanoparticles. Their duties include RNA preparative techniques, fluorescent analyses of RNAs, and work with different cell cultures.

We chose Jen for this position from a number of highly qualified and motivated students for several reasons -- Jen exhibited an excitement for science, and her desire to be a part of our team made her stand out from the other applicants. Also, she was able to cohesively answer my interview questions in a knowledgeable manner.

I think I can safely speak on behalf of the entire team when I say that it has been a great help and privilege for us to have all our interns as a part of the Werner H Kirsten program. All our interns have professed a deep dedication to research and its applications in the world, and their engagement expands the possibilities and brings up the quality of the whole lab!