2014 Equity Intern: Yaldah Mohammed Nader

Nader_Yaldah-Mohammed_1_150Yaldah Mohammed Nader is a bright and gifted student, graduating from Portland State with a degree in Microbiology/Molecular Biology, maintaining a 4.0 GPA while also working as a pharmacy technician. 

While at school, Yaldah has also volunteered in the Intensive Care Unit at Providence Medical Center, where she gained valuable experience shadowing several different physicians. "I have seen what it takes to be a compassionate provider that makes both patients and nurses feel more comfortable and well cared for," she says.

In addition, she is serving as a research intern with OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. She is working with health providers and patients in order to develop a cancer treatment program that would be specific for adolescents and young adults with cancer.

Not only is Yaldah interested in the clinical aspect of medicine, but she also has practical experience in the laboratory that gives her an upper hand in performing any basic science research during the course of her internship.  At Portland State, Yaldah has worked with Dr. June Jiao, a professor in the physics and engineering department.

Yaldah is one of 18 OHSU research interns participating in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion's Summer Equity Research Internship Program, which provides research and clinical exposure to diverse students who exhibit academic promise in graduate education in health and sciences. Yaldah is working with Michiko M. Nakano, Ph.D., in the Division of Environmental and Biomolecular Systems. In addition, Yaldah is also shadowing clinical mentor Charles Thomas, Jr., M.D., in the Department of Radiation Medicine.

In Dr. Nakano's lab, Yaldah is learning about a bacteria called Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of inhalational anthrax. The research project focuses on trying to determine how Bacillus anthracis, which invades the host in their dormant spore form, manages to germinate and survive in macrophages in the presence of toxic oxidants.

Yaldah says that she is happy for the incredible opportunity to be a part of Equity program. Through the internship, she has gained hands-on experience in clinical research, as well as the chance to shadow and interact with healthcare providers.

"I learned that while the job of a physician and researcher is very stressful, and sometimes heart-wrenching, the fact is, they make a difference in the lives of people in need," she says. "This internship left me with an appreciation of the challenges of medicinal research and helped to realize that ultimately medical doctors and researchers have similar goals: to solve current and future health challenges."

Interested in learning more about the Summer Equity Internship Program? Email David Martinez, Manager of Student Recruitment and Retention. 

Posted on July 9, 2014. Photo and write-up by Maileen Hamto.