The ALS Internship Program teaches up-and-coming future scientists about clinical care and ongoing research in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Project A.L.S. Internship 2013
Sponsored by Project A.L.S., the Massachusetts General Hospital ALS Internship Program for high school, college, and medical school students serves as an unprecedented opportunity to learn about clinical care and ongoing research in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Commonly referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” ALS is a rare disease characterized by motor neuron cell death. The need to find effective treatments is urgent. The internship affords students the opportunity to shadow and join a top-notch neurological team, including neurologists, nurses, physical therapists and speech therapists. Interns are part of the ALS Multidisciplinary Clinic and the Neurological Clinical Research Institute (NCRI). Together with their mentors, interns devise a long-term project that fits their educational and career goals. Past projects have included increasing understanding of the disease and its progression through use of biomarkers, determining efficacy of specific potential treatments, and studying reasons for diagnostic delay in patients with ALS.
Project A.L.S, a non-profit whose mission is to recruit the world's finest scientists and clinicians to work together rationally and aggressively toward effective treatments for ALS, has funded research comprising several pre-clinical studies in genetics, biochemistry, and iPS cell models across the United States. The organization has raised over 67 million dollars and has directed more than 89% of their funds to research programs. Project A.L.S. is thrilled to be able to grant students the chance to be part of critical research and quality clinical care at Massachusetts General Hospital, which received the #1 spot in the 2012-13 U.S. News & World Report “America’s Best Hospitals” list. “In our 15 years, Project A.L.S. has excelled at bringing the world’s best minds together to work on ALS, and nurturing exceptional young talent is implicit in this mission,” said Valerie Estess, Director of Research at Project A.L.S. “We hope that this rare hands-on opportunity begins three lifelong careers dedicated to stopping ALS and related diseases.”
“We received a large number of applications from a highly qualified pool of students,” said Merit Cudkowicz, MD, Mass General Neurology Chief and Co-Director of the NCRI. “It is exciting to see the overwhelming interest in the ALS internship and to know that so many up-and–coming, future scientists are interested in the neurotherapeutic field.” This year’s accepted interns embody the teamwork, compassion and intellectual curiosity that the internship represents.
Sarah Nathaniel is a junior at the Gann Academy in Waltham, Massachusetts. In 2011, she was a Field Research Assistant at the Sea Turtle Conversancy in Tortuguero, Costa Rica. She was involved in an Independent Research Project at the Gann Academy in May of 2012.
Zachary Boughner is a sophomore at the Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Zachary has experience using microscopes, sonic ranger/logger pro, writing formal lab reports, and thorough data analysis. He is a leader of the BB&N debate team.
Rachel Strodel is a junior at the Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is Chief Editor and Production Manager for the Point of View which is the school's political magazine. Rachel was the Designated Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Conference Ambassador in 2012.
The Mass General Hospital and Project A.L.S. team work diligently to ensure that the ALS Internship is a positive, influential, and educational experience for our future leaders in neurological care and science.