Budding Scientists Spend Summer In Lab

Jul 27, 2009 — Ten Yeshiva University (YU) students are spending their summer conducting innovative scientific research as Roth Scholars and University Summer Research Scholars. The undergraduate students are working alongside top scientific researchers at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. The impressive group includes Tirtza Spiegel, daughter of David and Heather, of Toronto, ON.

“The eight students in the Roth Scholars program and the two students in the University Summer Research Scholars program are paired with scientists at Einstein to gain experience conducting cutting-edge scientific research,” said Barry Potvin, PhD, professor of biology at YU and chairperson of the Roth Summer Research Fellowship Committee. The annual ten-week program, sponsored by the Ernst and Hedwig Roth Institute of Biomedical Science Education at Yeshiva University, provides each student with a stipend and campus housing.

“Each program has its own funding, and both allow undergraduate science students the chance to experience high-level research with university scientists,” Dr. Potvin said. The students work in teams alongside graduate and post-doctoral students.

Spiegel, a Roth Scholar, is working with Dr. Jeffrey Segall on designing primers that will determine the changes in the proportion of cancer cells in mice. She credits the experience with teaching her “how to be diligent, self disciplined and patient.”

Spiegel hopes to pursue an MD as well as another degree that will enable her to continue conducting research, with a focus on women’s health. “Stern College for Women has provided incredible opportunities for students interested in science,” she says. “There are enriching internships with wonderful professors offered throughout the year.”

According to Dr. Potvin, although most of the students are considering medical careers, this experience often piques their interest in research, and motivates them to apply to MD/PhD programs.

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