IAA Internship Stories: Jade Loewenstein
Think of all the medicines you take each day. Every pill, syrup, treatment, and medical advancement went through a research facility where it was created, tested, and eventually approved through the Federal Drug Administration. Drugs take about ten years to reach the market, and in those many years they go through an elaborate pipeline of various stages. After a scientist makes a protocol, the drug moves to the early pre-clinical trial phases of small animal laboratory research. Jade Loewenstein was able to work in the developmental phases of drugs this summer at MedImmune research facility.
Loewenstein, an Agriculture Forward student, is pursuing an Animal Science baccalaureate major and a certificate in Agricultural Business Management. The bright sophomore was given the amazing opportunity to intern as a laboratory animal technician at Medimmune's research center in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
At Medimmune, Loewenstein was able to learn proper animal handling and medical research techniques in a hands-on environment. She assisted in all four of MedImmune’s therapy areas: infectious disease, cardiovascular and metabolic disease, oncology, and respiratory, inflammation, and autoimmunity. However, Loewenstein was most interested in the work in the oncology department where trained professionals showed her exactly what they do on a daily basis to further cancer research. Loewenstein observed how Medimmune began and ran its preclinical trials in cancer research, using mice. For Loewenstein, being able to see real tumor reduction was incredible. She loved that she “could possibly help someone live a longer life, or even beat cancer.”
Loewenstein assisted almost every single technician in the laboratory research department. As her internship progressed, she worked on more studies independently, became certified in various types of injections, and learned about basic laboratory practices. From cleaning cages to rodent necropsy, Loewenstein gained skills that will help her for years to come. Her supervisor, Erin Straley, believed it was "very important that [Loewenstein] learn all of the possible duties she will encounter when working inside of an animal facility.” For this reason, Loewenstein never had any two identical work days.
Working at Medimmune allowed Loewenstein to discover new aspects of the animal science field. Thanks to her laboratory work, she quickly realized animal research was something she found incredibly interesting. Loewenstein hopes to continue her work in this field and ultimately pursue a career in pharmaceutical research.