August 29, 2017
A strong research background helped biochemistry major Joann Butkus '18 secure an internship in the summer of 2017 through the Summer Medical and Research Training (SMART) Program at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
Butkus worked as a researcher in a lab in the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, studying intestinal stem cells and their mechanisms for regenerating after injury by radiation or chemotherapy.
Since her first year at Susquehanna, Butkus has completed more than 800 hours of research through her assistantship with Professor of Chemistry Swarna Basu and has even become a published author.
"I began research day one of my freshman year, and I've been happily working for Dr. Basu 10 hours per week ever since. I couldn't ask for a more helpful, knowledgeable and compassionate mentor," she says.
Her interest in a medical career, her research experience and the skills she gained through her chemistry classes made her a strong candidate for the internship.
"The strongest asset of the chemistry program is the emphasis on written and oral communication. From day one, students are expected to write complete, high-quality manuscripts, and they are expected to deliver cohesive, professional scientific presentations to an audience by senior year," Butkus says.