Esther Mutongi

A Holistic approach to the world of Science and Medicine

Over the past 2 summers, I have had 3 internships which were all scientifically linked. During the summer of 2012, I was a participant in the ACES+ program at Case Western Reserve University. My research involved finding ways of stopping the progression of melanoma cancer by manipulation of the NOTCH signaling pathway using a novel drug MMP14. I refined my cell culture skills as I tried to slow down the migration and proliferation of cancer cells with this drug. My first internship during the summer of 2013 was in the SMART Program at Baylor College of Medicine where I focused on discovering pathways activated in early remodeling of blood vessels in day 8.5 mouse embryos. The work I did there involved micro dissections of mouse embryos, use of the antibody array system, western blots and immunostaining—skills required to determine if phosphorylation of certain proteins is taking place in the arteries and veins of mouse embryos. My final internship was in a French speaking country in West Africa called Benin. I volunteered at a hospital called Hopital de Zone. The work I did there involved working with and observing doctors and nurses in the Pediatric, Medicine, and Emergency and Surgery wards. All 3 internships were interlinked to shape and complete my studies in Biochemistry and French at Mount Holyoke College.