Deepa Kumarjiguda, '15 Interns in Washington, D.C.

September 16, 2014

Deepa Kuma

Deepa filled us in on her internship at the Naval Research Laboratory.

What's your major?

I'm majoring in chemistry and I'm part of the Honors Program.

Where was your internship? What did you do?

This summer I worked at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C. I researched protein interactions toward various material surfaces. I used an instrument that measured how much protein bound to different surfaces.

What was the application process like for you?

It was an online application that required a personal statement explaining why you would like to go into research and a description of previous research experience and/or research you would like to pursue. They provided a list of possible summer projects. Based on your experience and interests, the program matched you with a mentor, who would be a PhD scientist working on that project.

What was the most rewarding part of your experience?

Knowing that I pioneered and developed a new project. I became the resident expert on the instrument I was using. It was very satisfying to know that I was pursuing something new. Understanding protein interactions can further develop many other scientific fields and knowing that I was contributing to something much larger made me feel good.

What was a typical day like at your internship?

I would get to work around 8:30 a.m. and start running my experiments. I would meet with my mentor and we would discuss the data I produced. I also separated protein solution using a technique called High Pressure Liquid Chromatography. I was on my feet for most of the day in the lab. I would leave work around 4:30 p.m.

What's your dream job?

To be a physician-scientist. I want to be a doctor that also conducts research. I love my time in the lab, and it would be rewarding to use that research to directly benefit patients.