This summer, biological science major Tanner Marceaux, of Lake Charles, will travel to Bethesda, Maryland, to participate in a prestigious 10-week summer internship at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS).
This is the 16th year students from McNeese have been awarded the research internship. The internship is competitive, as students are selected based on academic performance, as well as faculty interviews and recommendations.
For those students who are looking to work in the health sciences field, this internship offers an unparalleled opportunity, according to biology department head Dr. William Dees.
“Students get the chance to work at a premiere research institution and network with experienced medical professionals,” Dees says. “With USUHS located not far from the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine, students can also attend seminars and presentations on current medical research, as well as gain a historical perspective on how far medical research has come.”
For the internship, Marceaux will be studying how infectious disease pathogens affect organisms. Focused on microbiology and molecular biology, Marceaux’s work will involve a variety of tests and experiments, as well as investigating therapies that can go towards immediate treatment and vaccine development.
“I would like to go on to medical school and I think this internship is really going to help prepare me for that,” says Marceaux. “I’m excited for this opportunity to work in a world class lab and get hands-on experience with the research and development process.”
McNeese students who were selected for this internship have gone on to become successful health care professionals and research scientists. Among them: Dr. Raphiel Heard (USUHS intern 2007) received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Louisiana State University Medical School in Shreveport and is now an internist in Richmond, Virginia; Dr. Michael Authement (USUHS intern 2010) received a doctorate in neuroscience from USUHS and is now a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Dr. Tod Guidry (USUHS intern 2011) recently received his doctorate in microbiology and immunology from LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport and was selected for a prestigious science policy fellowship with the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C.; Allison (Fusilier) Manuel (USUHS intern 2014) and Caleb Ardizzone (USUHS intern 2016) are currently doctoral students at the University of Alabama-Birmingham and LSUHSC-New Orleans, respectively; and Robert Rutz (USUHS intern 2018) will attend LSU Medical School in Shreveport this coming fall.
Dees states that this experience has had a profound positive impact on McNeese students.
“Students selected for this internship have the opportunity to explore and learn about medical research and careers in the health sciences. Findings from the research conducted during these internships are presented by the students at state and national scientific conferences. Such engagement with the scientific community helps our students build confidence in their academic abilities and opens doors for exceptional opportunities,” he says.