Tuesday, June 25th, 2024
Review Magazine

STEM Partnerships Provide Hands-On Experience

The partnership between MU and Lampire Biological Laboratories gives students hands-on industry experience in the laboratory and more.

One of the best ways for students to learn more about their field of interest is through real-world, hands-on experiences. Thanks to corporate partnerships, Millersville University STEM students now have access to even more opportunities to grow and learn.

Last spring, the University announced its partnership with Lampire Biological Laboratories, an international biotech life science firm that creates and supplies biological reagents for the diagnostic and pharmaceutical industries. In addition to providing MU’s biology, chemistry and biochemistry faculty with opportunities for educational programming, two students were selected as interns to help with Lampire’s work.

Danielle Nietupski, a junior biology major with a concentration in molecular biology, and Sarah Abrahem, a junior biology major were the two students selected as Lampire interns. Nietupski was interested in the opportunity after a campus visit from Lampire. “I found out about this internship by attending a colloquium where Lampire shared what their company was about as well as their new partnership with the University. There was an application process, which consisted of an interview and then a walkthrough of the lab space.”

Much of her work with Lampire involves performing ELISA tests, a laboratory technique that detects and counts different antibodies, antigens, proteins and hormones in bodily fluid samples. “As an intern, I run ELISA tests on different samples, sometimes testing the reactivity of antigen to an antibody, or looking to see if an antibody can neutralize its target.”

Additionally, Nietupski works closely with Lampire’s Dr. Donna Cartledge-Wolf as they conduct neutralizing tests with infectious particles like influenza and HSV-1. “We will also be creating a DNA vector that expresses a green fluorescent protein in mammalian cells for an upcoming project.”

Nietupski says her work with Lampire varies day to day, and combined with her previous courses at Millersville, she’s learning a lot about her field. “Taking cell biology has helped me in understanding how different biological components interact with each other. For example, when moving cells to another flask, an enzyme must be added to release the cells by cleaving proteins that hold the cells to the flask and to each other.

“The most rewarding aspect of the internship is getting to see into the biotechnology industry,” Nietupski says. “Not only have I learned a lot about different techniques and procedures from Dr. Cartledge-Wolf, but I have also seen how different experiments are translated into services for clients of Lampire.”

Nietupski adds, “I am very grateful for this opportunity; I am excited to be a part of this partnership with Lampire and Millersville. I have learned a lot so far from Dr. Cartledge-Wolf, and I am excited to continue gaining knowledge about the biotechnology industry.”

Dr. Marc Harris, dean of the College of Science and Technology, adds that these kinds of partnerships align with the core mission of the College. “The SCTE educational promise is to provide all students with the depth and breadth of education and the hands-on learning needed for success in contemporary fields of science and technology,” he says.

Harris concludes, “Industry partnerships, like with Lampire, will enhance our abilities to conduct cutting-edge research with students, leading to phenomenal student learning outcomes for students across several programs.”

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