When I applied to MSRP, I came with many insecurities about my language, my knowledge of science, and if I would be at the level of an institution like MIT. From the first day I arrived, there was no room to foster such insecurities. On the contrary, I stepped out of my comfort zone and strengthened my skills. MSRP gave me all the tools I needed to have an enriching experience in science, as well as the opportunity to meet colleagues that I will remember for the rest of my life.
I applied to MSRP-Bio because I wanted to learn more about what it would mean to pursue a PhD. Graduate school seemed intimidating at first, but after this summer it’s become an achievable goal. I’ve not only had the chance to practice coming up with appropriately-sized research questions, but I’ve also learned how to devise methods to clarify ambiguous experimental results. I didn’t expect to see this much growth in myself, and I know the program is making me a better scientist. I would definitely do it again.
Since starting MSRP, I’ve noticed changes in myself. The more I get into research, even remote research, the more I realize it’s what I want to do. Although we haven’t been able to meet in person, I’ve gotten to know the cohort really well and the faculty have been extremely interactive. I’m studying proteins in the lab of Eliezer Calo, who — like me — grew up in Puerto Rico and completed MSRP. Working with proteins is new to me, but I’ve learned a lot through this program, and it’s given me career-changing opportunities.
Alcorn State University ’20 ● PhD candidate, Northwestern University
I’ve known I was interested in cancer research for a long time, but working at MIT has shown me that computational tools are key to understanding the disease. I can see myself using the programming languages I learned during MSRP-Bio on my own projects in the future. The experience exposed me to new areas of research, and gave me knowledge that I can take with me wherever I go. MSRP-Bio is designed to help you get the most out of the summer, and it really caters to your every need and provides a strong support system.
In St. Lucia, we value working hard and treating people equally. I had to leave my home on this Caribbean island for college, but I carried these values with me, and I was thrilled to find people who share my mindset at MIT. I met many amazing friends and mentors during the 10-week MSRP-Bio program. Whether we were discussing science, hanging out on Friday night, or hiking through the mountains, I felt at home, and the relationships I formed will last long beyond the end of the summer.
Everyone I met during MSRP was so creative, but also so humble. The students and faculty were all excited to discuss ideas, and also willing to admit when the conversation reached the limits of their knowledge. I learned a ton at MIT, both about protein biochemistry and about scientific career paths. Balancing my life as a Navajo with my love of science is extremely important to me, and this summer helped me realize that a career in policy could combine my passions for research and native affairs.
During my time at MSRP, every member of my lab offered advice about experiments and guidance for graduate school. To get such robust and targeted feedback from experts in your field — who are also invested in you and care about you — has been incredibly empowering. You leave this program having forged new connections with rising scientists, and with a new perspective on how diverse your scientific trajectory can be. To say I am grateful for the opportunity would be to undersell it; this program has, without a doubt, made a significant impact on my path as a young scientist.
University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez ’19 ● PhD candidate, University of Michigan
I had two main expectations about MIT before I got here. The first was that no one would give me the time of day and they’d be hard to talk to. Boy, was I wrong — the faculty are really accessible and engage you as a potential researcher. The other expectation was that everyone here would be hardworking, regardless of their field of study. And I was very pleased to find that’s the case. I have not met one person who would not go the extra mile to do their job correctly.
Bruna Lima, MSRP ’17
UMass Boston ’18 ● PhD candidate, MIT CSB Program
I was born in Cape Verde, and I have been in the US for about five years. Coming from a country where science is not done or supported very much, the opportunity to spend a summer doing research at MIT has been a critically important step in my career, and has made me more sure that I want a career in scientific research.
Asmita Panthi, MSRP ’17
South Carolina State University ’19 ● PhD candidate, University of Pennsylvania
I was born and raised in Nepal, one of the least developed countries in the world. Scientific discoveries seemed like miracles happening somewhere I could hardly imagine. Although I helped many people as a health professional in Nepal, I wanted to take part in the discovery process. As part of the MSRP-Bio summer program, I had an unprecedented opportunity to get familiar with various aspects of scientific research and have come to realize that the challenges, and possibilities, are much more than I imagined.
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Gorodetsky, MSRP ’17
CUNY Hunter College ’18 ● MD-PhD candidate, NYU
As a first generation American and a child of Ukrainian refugees, I feel honored to have had the chance to come to MIT this summer as well as conduct research in a field I hope to pursue in the future. I worked in Matthew Vander Heiden’s lab studying the regulation of biochemical pathways related to cancer cell proliferation. I will be the first physician and scientist in my family, and am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to participate in MSRP.
I am originally from Haiti and moved to Florida in 2008. My first experience at MIT was in January 2015 when I attended the MIT Quantitative Workshop for one week, and learned about the MRSP summer program. It was one of the best experiences of my life. The MIT community was very welcoming and nurturing (and prestigious!), which is why I decided to return for two more summers as an HHMI fellow. I am very grateful for the opportunities that the MSRP program offered.