Summer Student Poster Days Showcase Young Minds

By Ishika Srivastava, WHK Student Intern; images by Richard Frederickson, staff photographer; Marie Haughey, staff writer; and Sam Lopez, staff writer
2018 Student Poster Days Event

Each year at NCI at Frederick, high school student interns stand shoulder to shoulder with their undergraduate and graduate-school colleagues to share posters about their scientific research and enhance their communication and networking skills.

This year’s Student Summer Poster Days events took place at the Advanced Technology Research Facility on July 26 and in Building 549 on July 27. Werner H. Kirsten (WHK) interns, undergraduates, and graduate students displayed posters that had been constructed with help from mentors and colleagues.

NCI and Frederick National Laboratory researchers engaged with students and their posters, which allowed for both learning and casual conversation. Some students, such as Lincoln Curtis from Urbana High School and Michael Flegel from Walkersville High School, two interns at the Center for Molecular Microscopy, had 3-D virtual models on laptop screens that people could interact with. Another pair of students had 3-D glasses through which people could view their poster.

“I had a good experience for my first poster day,” said Jacqueline Chen, a WHK intern who plans to major in biology in college. “My mentor, Zhen Han, [from Joost Oppenheim’s laboratory] encouraged me to do this. I feel that I have gained a better understanding of immunology as a result of our project.”

Chen’s poster focused on Cryptotanshinoe promotion of macrophage activation/polarization and triggers of NF-kB and MAPK signaling pathways.

The Poster Days included presentations from 17 high school students and two college students, both from Ivy League schools. In total, there were 36 posters with subjects that ranged from binding lipids to cloning.

“I thought it was a really awesome event. The things the interns are working on are so impressive, and I love that I got to see that as well as present what I had been working on,” Curtis said.

Flegel added, “It was a very neat experience. I enjoyed talking to other people about our poster and getting to see the other interns’ posters.”

A third summer poster day was held on August 9 in Bethesda, and there will be one more poster day later this year.

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