Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is a private research university in Baltimore. The university was founded in 1876 and is considered the first research university in the United States. The total enrollment at JHU is over 26,000 students with the majority of those being graduate or doctoral students.

Students seeking opportunities beyond IUP are encouraged to check out Johns Hopkins University (JHU) for jobs and internships.

Chemistry, biochemistry, physics and engineering students at IUP were informed of such positions on Friday by Dr. Caitlin Tressler, the research associate and assistant director of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Applied Imaging Mass Spectrometry Core (JHU SOM/AIMS).

Tressler, a 2009 biochemistry graduate of IUP, went on to study at JHU for her post-doctoral work in cancer imaging. She now works with fellow colleagues, Dr. Kristine Glunde and Director and Dr. Ethan Yang, a Postdoctoral Fellow, on the application of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI).

JHU’s MALDI technology is a method of ionization used for imaging mass spectrometry. There is a diverse group of institutions and JHU departments, such as oncology, infectious disease and radiology, that use the technology.

After months of doing work remotely over the computer during the COVID-19 pandemic, JHU has been eager to get students back into the lab. In the process of recruiting summer researchers from IUP, Tressler presented the work of past and current JHU SOM/AIMS students.

A student from the University of Scranton did research on gold nanoparticles for imaging neurotransmitters.

Another student looked into gemcitabine in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) as part of his thesis. He was able to present his published work at the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) 2021 conference.

Undergraduates at JHU worked on a sample preparation optimization and off-tissue delocalization project.

The mission of the JHU SOM/AIMS Core is to “develop and share innovative MALDI imaging applications that enable biomedical discovery.”

“The technology is ready to expand out into other fields and is ready for students like you to work on,” Tressler said.

Other projects available to undergrads depend on their interests but include cryosectioning, sample preparation, MALDI imaging and data analysis problems.

Tressler is also recruiting for summer interns to help with her own personal research.

These projects include a collaboration with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Chemical Defense on novel mouse models for organophosphate poisoning and countermeasures.

Tressler is also looking into COVID-19 research, cancer metabolism, co-registration of multi-modality imaging and additional work on the sample prep optimization for MALDI imaging.

All of JHU’s technology and scientific instruments are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and through internal research funds. Now that they have the funding and the technology, Tressler said that they are eager to have students working in the labs to publish their own work.

Tressler said personal published and presented work from undergraduate students is impressive to the graduate schools that they might apply to; however, to take some of the pressure to publish original work off of students, Tressler said that she is happy if her students just learn something new.

JHU is offering these opportunities to IUP students so that they can “see what is out there beyond IUP.”

JHU has access to research labs and scientific instruments that are not available everywhere to students.

“All we want to do is give you that access to explore higher instrumentation in science that you wouldn’t get elsewhere,” Tressler said.

Tressler encouraged organized and excited students, preferably with chemistry or analytical chemistry backgrounds, to apply for these opportunities. Students who are comfortable with trying different things, doing a wide range of projects and learning as they go would also be compatible with the JHU SOM/AIMS Core research.

Computer-savvy people who can work with a larger data set and students with a programming background would do well in the program because there is much time spent putting together and making sense of data sets.

“We would like to pay it forward and help the next generation of IUP students be successful,” Tressler said.

For questions or more information, Tressler can be contacted at Ctressl3@jh.edu and the JHU SOM/AIMS Core program contact is aims@jhmi.edu.

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