Student News

Summer Research In His Own Words – Jake Meyers

October 9, 2013

During the summer of 2013 many Deerfield students had the opportunity to engage in science research. This Daily Bulletin series shares with you some of the exciting experiences afforded to your fellow students. If you are interested in doing something science related during the summer of 2014, contact Dr. Hills to arrange a time to chat. 

This summer we were fortunate to have two students sponsored at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. Jake Meyers worked with the group of Professor Tyler Jacks at MIT. There he explored a cellular pathway, hoping to contribute to the development of novel cancer treatments.

Here Jake shares his own words regarding his summer experience: This summer, I participated in a research internship in Boston at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. Over the course of the eight-week internship, I was able to work with researchers in the Jacks lab. Under their guidance, I began my own experimental research, attempting to increase cell sensitivity to existing cancer treatments. In order to do so, I aimed to increase cell dependency on a certain cell-signaling pathway named MAPK, the same pathway that is modified by existing cancer therapy drugs. With this in mind, I used a retroviral vector to breakdown RNA in the cell that is responsible for regulating the MAPK pathway. Although I did observe an increase in deregulation of the MAPK pathway, I was unable to definitively conclude whether or not the cells were sensitized to the existing cancer treatment. However, this research offers a new approach–inducing cellular dependency–into the field of cancer research.

On my own, I was able to experience Boston in its entirety. I had my first Dunkin’ Donut, watched the Fourth of July celebration, and enjoyed my first Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Needless to say, there were few dull moments in Boston. The highlight of my summer, though, was when I participated in the annual Jacks Lab Outing, this year’s theme: Survivor. Dressed in ridiculous costumes, we traveled to Georges Island, where we competed against each other in teams in various zany challenges, including an intense scavenger hunt. I was sad for the summer to end, but incredibly grateful for the experience. My eight weeks in Boston left me with not only perspicacity into the inner workings of cancer research but also an inspired interest of science.

Again, if you are interested in doing something science related during the summer of 2014, contact Dr. Hills to arrange a time to chat.