2014 Equity Intern: Joshua Baumgart

Baumgart_Joshua_1_150Joshua Baumgart is a student at Oregon State University (OSU) majoring in Biochemistry/Biophysics, and hailing from Klamath Falls, Oregon. Described by his professors as having an inquisitive mind and "genuine compassion for people," Josh has excelled in his experiences in the health and sciences field.

During the summer of 2013, Josh received a fellowship which allowed him to work in a laboratory with OSU faculty. His research on mutations in yeast genes provided Josh with many lab skills necessary for his future. "My career goal is to work at the National Institute of Medicine as a pediatric oncology researcher," Josh says. "I found a passion for doing research on what cause so many problems related to cancer mutations and medications."

Along with extensive lab experience, Josh also dedicated his time to learning and training in the nursing field. He took a nursing course and served as a Nursing Assistant at Marquis Wilsonville, a long-term care and rehabilitation facility. His duties included updating patient records, as well as scheduling and conducting patient care. One of his course instructors commends Josh on not only seeking out ways to improve his skills and abilities, but also his willingness to share his perspectives on the health care system gained through his experiences as a Nursing Assistant.

Josh volunteers at Community Outreach, Inc., a clinic that serves homeless and disadvantaged patients of the Mid-Willamette Valley.  Additionally, he also mentors other students in research and in the laboratory setting.

This summer, Josh has been chosen as one of 18 outstanding interns for the Summer Equity Research program sponsored by the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. He is conducting research in OHSU's labs, which he says will give him a better understanding of how his future schooling for graduate studies will be. Josh is working full-time this summer with research mentor Hiroyuki Nakai, M.D., Ph.D., of the Molecular and Medical Genetics department.  

At Dr. Nakai's lab, Josh is focused on the functional characterization of adeno-associated virus (AAV) assembly-activation proteins (AAPs) derived from various serotypes.  "This project has allowed me the opportunity to work around new and advancing techniques to both me and the field of Molecular and Medical Genetics. Some techniques include cell culture,  genome engineering, AAV vector production / purification, tittering using a dot blot method, next generation sequencing, and high-throughput data analysis," he says.

Josh says that it is "humbling" to be accepted into the Summer Equity Research program. He appreciate the learning and mentorship opportunities afforded by the program. "Thus far, I've been immersed into a fantastic new environment that has allowed me to gain experiences that I would have never been able to achieve without the program. Through the program seminars, I have gained a wealth of new knowledge that will help me both in the years to come."

To learn more about the Summer Equity Internship Program, contact David Martinez, Manager of Student Recruitment and Retention.

Posted on July 7, 2014. Write-up by Jillian Toda. Photo by Maileen Hamto.