Meet the Summer 2015 Interns at MCB!

Each year the National Science Foundation hosts summer interns from across the United States. This summer, the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences staff is excited to welcome three interns. Throughout the summer we will share updates about their projects. Read below to learn more about these dynamic undergraduates.


I am Anita Albanese, and I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. I am a rising senior attending the University of Nevada, Reno studying chemical engineering and neuroscience. I want to pursue an MD/PhD and am fascinated by degenerative disease research including Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, diabetes, lupus, and arthritis. In my free time, I like to go to concerts and enjoy trying new food! This summer, I am researching the percentage of Principle Investigators that participate in informal science education within MCB. Furthermore, I will assess the mechanisms these Principle Investigators use to engage the public in MCB supported science.

bio nsf

My name is Melissa Sam. I am from Baldwin Park, California and I am a rising junior at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. I am pursing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in mathematics. In the future, I hope to work with Native American communities nation-wide. I chose to apply through the Washington Internship for Native Students program  to get internship experience and to network with other native students. Also, I feel like this experience will better prepare me to effectively contribute to native communities.

Aside from my coursework, I work at the Indigenous Scholar Development Center on the Northeastern State University Campus as an Academic Peer Consultant. I tutor students mainly with College Algebra homework. I am the treasurer for the Native American Student Association (N.A.S.A.), and the vice president and treasurer for American Indian Science and Engineering Society (A.I.S.E.S.). During my free time I like to bead jewelry, read, and hang out with friends.

This summer, I will be researching MCB funded proposals that incorporate big data and statistics. I will also investigate whether the results of these projects are more impactful and more reproducible than those that do not use these techniques.


My name is Mikah Barrueta. I am a rising Senior Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major with a French minor at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. I was born in Merida, Mexico and moved to the U.S when I was 18 years old. I have a strong interest in Public Health with a focus on minority health. I am planning to get my Master’s in Public Health with the Peace Corps “Masters International” program following my graduation. As a summer intern at NSF, I will be working on a project that reviews proposals that include Broader Impacts for minority involvement in the past, and compares them to the follow-up Broader Impact statement in the Annual Report.

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