Undergrad Tested Biomedical Research Skills During Internship at MIT | UTSA today | UTSA

Favor Obuseh, right, in the MIT lab with her research director Khan Osman.

(Aug 28, 2019) – MIT’s acceptance rate is 7.9%. Less than one in 10 students apply and enter. However, Favor Obuseh, a junior this fall at UTSA, managed to land a prestigious research internship position at this highly competitive institution.

He is in good company. After all, MIT was home to the founders of Dropbox, a graduate astronaut. Buzz aldrin, educated heads of state, including Kofi Anan and even trained the next generation of female scientists such as Katie bouman—The brain behind the CHIRP algorithm that captured the first image of a black hole.

This summer, the UTSA student walked the same Cambridge corridors where these pioneers honed their skills.

“From day one I was intimidated by the level of intelligence of the Niles Lab members,” Obuseh recalls of how nerves took him the first time he entered the lab. from MIT this summer. “At first I forgot how to pipette and couldn’t do the basic dilution calculations.

However, Obuseh credits Khan osman, his research mentor at MIT, like the rock that allowed him to find his point of view and believe he had the capacity to succeed.

“Favor’s youth and energy made us all smile from the first day he joined our lab,” said Osman. “His enthusiasm was contagious and his curiosity helped solve some of the key issues of the project. “

Favor presents his research at the MIT Summer Research Conference.

At MIT, Obuseh tapped into the research experience he gained in a biomedical engineering lab at UTSA, where he worked on solutions to help regenerate bone tissue by building blood vessels in scaffolding. Accepting the challenge from MIT and his own training at UTSA kept him grounded during his practical training on the East Coast.

He worked on a wide range of proteins believed to ensure the survival of Plasmodium falciparum during its parasitic life cycle. Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest human parasite responsible for malaria, uses a variety of proteins that are difficult to express and whose functions are unknown. Obuseh examined different protein expression systems and performed initial experiments to biophysically characterize proteins.

“We managed to express two P. falciparum proteins and began to define their thermal stability profiles which can potentially be used to screen for small molecule binding for these two P. falciparum protein, ”he said. “The progress we have made in this research will allow us to better understand the functions of these proteins and potentially identify a new antimalarial drug. “

This UTSA student is grateful for his experience at MIT.

“Getting out of your comfort zone is always essential to grow. The ability to adapt to a different research and learning environment says a lot about your ability to collaborate, ”Obuseh said.

Today he is back on our campus and ready to begin the fall semester. He will resume his role as researcher in the laboratory of the Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering, Eric Brey, working on tissue engineering. Obuseh will also continue his outreach efforts in San Antonio as the new president of UTSA’s Biomedical Engineering Society.

“I am truly grateful to God for the MIT experience. Also, for UTSA. Here I have teachers and peers who really care about my success, ”Obuseh said. “Now that the MIT summer research program is over, I could see myself going back there to pursue my doctorate. “


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Paul N. Strickland

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