By: Sharon Aron Baron
A Coral Springs resident has the distinction of being accepted into an internship program at Harvard University.
Adam Pissaris, a resident of the Venetian Isles community and graduate of Pine Crest School, is currently a junior at Yale University. He was selected as one of forty undergraduate students into the 2014 Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) Internship Program, which provides participants with a challenging summer research experience in a cutting-edge stem cell science laboratory.
Pissaris is currently spending ten weeks this summer in the Boston Children’s Hospital laboratory of HSCI Principal Faculty member Carla Kim, PhD, known for her research on lung stem cells and cancer. Pissaris’s project this summer is to better understand adult lung stem cell differentiation, specifically how one molecular pathway promotes the formation of the lung’s alveoli—the millions of tiny air sacs where oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange takes place.
“This internship has been both challenging because each day I seek to answer questions that aren’t entirely clear—and exciting—because I am helping to advance, expand, and develop a cross-disciplinary field driven by a dedication to discovery,” said Pissaris.
“This experience has shown me that it is only through the steady persistence of the scientific method that researchers are able to achieve results and have an impact on the world. Undoubtedly, this internship has made me want to be a better scientist.”
Over the course of the program, interns participate in a stem cell seminar series, a career pathways presentation, and a weekly stem cell companion course. They present their summer research findings, both orally and in poster format, at an end-of-program symposium.
The Harvard Stem Cell Institute is a collaborative of more than 1,000 leading scientists, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students who are affiliated with one or more of the University’s schools and affiliated hospitals and medical institutions, and are working to advance the understanding and use of stem cells in basic research and regenerative medicine.
According to HSCI Internship Program co-director M. William Lensch, “This program represents an exciting opportunity for undergraduates to gain hands-on experience in stem cell research while working in an HSCI laboratory under the supervision of an experienced researcher.”