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APRIL 21

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Research Experiences Lead to Position at Penn State College of Medicine

Abigail Samuelsen

A novel about Ebola and LVC’s Health and Biomedical Sciences Summer Camp are two of the influential factors that led Abigail Samuelsen ’19 to a career in medicine. 

Samuelsen graduated with her degree in biochemistry & molecular biology and didn’t plan to work in a lab. However, to her amazement, she landed a lab technician position in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at Penn State College of Medicine, and she could not love it more. 

Samuelsen focuses on sepsis and a specific protein, Resistin, that is often associated with a worse prognosis in patients that develop sepsis. 

“Currently, I am still in training,” said Samuelsen. “Moving forward, I will be in charge of our mouse colony, genotyping, and performing experiments related to our end goal.” 

In her role, Samuelsen is relying on valuable research experience gained even before she started her first year at LVC. The summer after her junior year of high school, she attended the College’s Health and Biomedical Sciences Summer Camp, where she immersed herself in science and became acquainted with campus. It was after the camp that Samuelsen knew that she wanted to become a Dutchman. 

As a newly-enrolled student, Samuelsen took advantage of another program, Research First, to work with College faculty on their research projects. She gained experience, got to know some of her future faculty, and was paid to live and work on campus, all during the summer before her first semester at LVC.

Samuelsen maintained an active interest in research opportunities and career growth. Throughout her four years, she conducted undergraduate research with Dr. Kristen Boeshore, associate professor of biology and director of pre-health professions. 

“Working with Dr. Boeshore was one of the most rewarding experiences I had at LVC,” she said. “I had the opportunity to do bench work and present my findings at research conferences and symposiums like Inquiry at LVC. She, along with all the other LVC professors, only want to see their students succeed.”

Samuelsen knows research is a long process and looks forward to the impact her career will have on the future. 

“Most of the time when doing lab work, there is a clear task at hand and a direction to follow,” she said. “I finally feel as though I am working to make a difference in people's lives. I know research is a long process, but I hope that the work I am doing now will someday benefit others.”

 

- Parker Gallagher, Marketing & Communications Student Assistant