Written by Mr. Nikhil Gowda, a senior at Poolsville High School
"Photophobia. What is the fear of light?" Stepping up to the front of the auditorium, and competing against other students in front of a small crowd,
I admit that I was nervous in the limelight. However, this summer's Student Jeopardy competition at FNLCR actually came to be one of the highlights of my experience
in the Werner H Kirsten Student Intern Program.
I learned of this program through a research advisor at school. As part of our magnet program, students are strongly encouraged to take part in an internship prior to
entering their senior year. Our teachers provided us with a great deal of information, and I seized the opportunity, applying to the NIH and several other research institutions.
After landing a spot with my current mentor, Dr. Randall Johnson, at the genetics core of FNLCR, I was excited and ready to contribute to the research community as a high school student.
Randy taught me a great deal about bioinformatics, and this summer I successfully completed a project on skin microbiome sequence analysis, concluding that human skin microbiome
samples were robust, and did not require costly storage measures.
Participating in and winning the Jeopardy tournament was a very unique and entertaining experience. I will never forget the amount of fun that I have had this summer.