Todd Cresta

I am double majoring in Biochemistry and Animal Science. This past summer I conducted an internship in Knights Surgical Research Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital. Knights Surgical Research Lab is a core lab in the hospital that is rented out by a multitude of Principle Investigators for all different types of studies. Two days a week I was involved in running trials on swine in which a self-expanding polymer based biofoam agent was deployed for the control of life threatening intra-abdominal hemorrhage. The study was sponsored by the United States Military of Defense and the goal was to prolong survival time of wounded soldiers in the battlefield. The beauty of my internship was not just this study, but the vast number of different Principle Investigators I was involved with or was allowed to observe. Several other studies I either assisted with in the operation room or observed were:

• vascular repair using light-activated crosslinking of natural proteins. Model - rabbit

• cardiectomies performed for study of mechanisms of transplant rejection and immune tolerance Model- Swine

• kidney transplants & ureter ischemia in cynomolgus macaques.

• en-bloc heart and thymus transplantation in cynomolgus macaques.

• heart, kidney, lung biopsies performed by Tetsu Oura M.D., Ph.D.; Tatsuo Kawai M.D., Ph.D.; James Allan M.D.

• in utero injection of xenogeneic stem cells for induction of transplantation tolerance. Model- macaques and swine

Most of these studies were designed to help human lives in some way or another. My second major in Animal Science allowed for me to have a greater understanding of animal anatomy and physiology which was very important for my internship. For students like myself who are interested in the pre-med field, I strongly suggest taking A&P and trying to gain access to a hospital as soon as possible. Start by filling out all the volunteer applications on all the hospitals homepages near you. Next, email Principle Investigators who doing research that interests you at that hospital. Show that you have an understanding of what they are doing and that gaining access to observe their studies would be monumental for your future. I highly recommend this type of internship to anybody interested in this field.