Administration

SCF, Manatee Sarasota Biotech Graduate has Internship Research Published

(Bradenton, Fla., June 23, 2016) — State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) biotech graduate Megan Orlando accomplished something few associate degree students can: She is a published author on a scientific paper done while she was a student intern.

Orlando, who was an Outstanding Graduate Award finalist when she graduated in 2015, had an internship with the Roskamp Institute and was involved in research on mild brain injuries, such as concussions received during sports, and their effects on vision. The article can be seen at journals.plos.org.

Orlando used her networking skills to help get the internship. She volunteered at BioFlorida, Inc. events where she met the chief operating officer at Roskamp Institute. She convinced the COO to allow her to volunteer at the research facility. While volunteering, she showed the team what she was learning at SCF and worked her way onto a research team, turning that into an internship with the college.

“I’ve always been really interested in the brain and always wanted to research the brain,” Orlando said. She was attracted to Roskamp because they are known for Alzheimer’s research.

She started volunteering a few times a week and was put on a research team under Dr. Radouil Tzekov, who was researching changes in the vision of mice after repetitive mild traumatic brain injury. Orlando was involved in several aspects of the research, helping extract optic nerves, dye them and take photos.

“The classes I took at SCF prepared me for one of the most important things I did,” Orlando said. Keeping a lab book with data that can easily be read and interpreted by anyone on the research team is vital, she said.

She said her science classes also prepared her for the conversations in the lab and the stains she would be working with to determine the effects of a brain injury on the optic nerve. “Microbiology teaches you about the different kinds of stains and what, inside the cells, they stain.”

Tzekov, who was the principal investigator on the project, wrote the journal article and included Orlando’s photos and data. She helped edit the article and added notes. “He told me from the beginning that he was going to include me as an author,” Orlando said. “I thought he was joking at first.”

Orlando was thrilled to receive a copy of the published article and to have her name listed as third among the nine contributors. She immediately forwarded the article to the natural sciences department at SCF.

For information on SCF’s biotech department, contact Matt Thomas at thomasm1@scf.edu. For information on the Roskamp Institute, visit roskamps.com. To read the journal article go to journals.plos.org/plosone.

Megan Orlando

Megan Orlando

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