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MDL Internships Reinforce Career Goals for Two MCCC Science Students


West Windsor, N.J. – In January, two Mercer County Community College (MCCC) science students immersed themselves in a potentially career-shaping experience as research interns at Medical Diagnostic Laboratories (MDL), a subsidiary of Genesis Biotechnology Group (GBG), based in Hamilton.

The students, Meihua Liu and Noah Ouslander, shared the findings of their work in front of a packed house of MCCC faculty members and fellow students in February. Liu studied “Trichomonas Vaginalis Population Subtyping: Using Real-time qPCR and Pyrosequencing” under the guidance of Dr. David Hilbert, MDL’s Assistant Director, while Ouslander investigated “NDM-1 Bacteria and Potential Treatment Options” under the guidance of Research Associate Terry Paulish.

According to their MDL mentors, the students did an impressive job in their ten days in the lab. “We focused each of them on a short-term project where they answered a specific question. This was not busy work.  Both provided data sets that are relevant to our work,” Dr. Hilbert said.

Ouslander said the chance to apply his classroom knowledge in a lab setting and tackle a real life problem was gratifying. “It was awesome being in a real lab with all this equipment at my fingertips. I was able to accomplish a lot in two weeks, which is a testament to my mentors.”

From left, MCCC Professor of Biology Diane Hilker, MDL Research Associate Terry Paulish, MDL Assistant Director David Hilbert (back), research intern Noah Ouslander, Professor of Chemistry Helen Tanzini, research intern Meihua Liu, MCCC President Jianping Wang, and Interim Dean of Math/Science/Health Professions Linda Scherr.

While Ouslander has taken multiple biology and chemistry courses, including Honors Organic Chemistry, at Mercer, he dialed it up a notch further when he enrolled in Honors Research in Chemistry. And, he says his time at MDL reaffirmed his goal to work as a cancer researcher. He will transfer to the University of Delaware in Fall 2016 to complete his bachelor’s degree.

Professor of Biology Diane Hilker expressed the college’s appreciation to GBG and MDL for once again hosting and guiding MCCC interns. Professor of Chemistry Helen Tanzini added that “the sky’s the limit when students take advantage of the opportunities that Mercer has to offer.”

Indeed, Ouslander gives MCCC high marks. “At Mercer, the professors are all about teaching. I have had small classes and lots of one-on-one attention.  And, I have spent about one-eighth of what tuition would have cost me for my first two years at a four-year college.”

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Glenn Kraft