1. NAME: Kristina Jonsson-Schmunk
2. DIVISION OR DEPARTMENT: Pharmaceutics
3. WHAT YOU’RE SPECIFICALLY STUDYING: In Dr. Croyle's lab I am studying how virus infection changes drug metabolism, specifically cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4). We have shown that adenovirus infection results in a suppression of CYP3A4 and now I am elucidating the underlying mechanism.
4. INTERNSHIP: Merck Future Talent
5. DATES YOU WORKED: June 6 - August 26 (12 weeks)
6. EXPLAIN WHAT YOU DID DURING YOUR INTERNSHIP: I worked on a joint project between PPDM (pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and drug metabolism) and Safety Assessment. My project was to develop an assay to predict idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (IDILI) caused by a specific drug metabolite. I used techniques such as flow cytometry and ELISA to develop the assay.
7. FAVORITE PART OF YOUR INTERNSHIP: I worked independently on my project and the resources at Merck were great. In my 12 weeks I was able to expand my knowledge about flow cytometry and apply this to my project. I presented my work for the entire division and it felt like my research was making a difference.
8. MOST CHALLENGING PART OF YOUR INTERNSHIP: It took almost 2 weeks before I could get into the lab because I had to take safety classes that I had to wait to be assigned to me. Things move a little bit slower when you work for a big company compared to here at the university, so you just have to be patient.
9. ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WHO WILL DO AN INTERNSHIP IN THE FUTURE: This is your chance to network. My supervisors arranged meetings with about 20 scientists around the different fields of Merck so that I could learn about the different departments but also have valuable contacts for when I will start applying for jobs. Everyone loved to talk to me and I felt truly inspired by them.