Arianna Anoushiravani ’22 tackles projects while interning to be a more competitive candidate for Medical School through Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, OR

My name is Arianna Anoushiravani, and I will be a Sophomore this upcoming school year. Although I haven’t declared yet, I plan on majoring in Biology (pre-med track) with a minor in Chemistry and Psychology. This summer, I interned at Oregon Health & Science University, which is a hospital, research institute, and medical school in Portland, Oregon. The research I do is predominantly in the Dotter Interventional Institute, which falls under the umbrella of Radiology. This institute and OHSU were the pioneers of Interventional Radiology and created the specialty in 1963 with the guidance of Dr.Charles Dotter.

I am currently working on three different projects that included different scientists and surgeons research project but also one that I am designing on my own. The first project I’m working on is looking at the long-term effects of a specific antibiotic and the process in which the body metabolizes it. The current stage of the project is in the medical testing phase; my job is to monitor the anesthesiology machine when we put each specimen under general anesthesia. I am also in charge of logging the stats for each subject as wells logging all the drugs used during the procedure. The second project consists of a more quantitative analysis approach. The purpose of this project is to see the effects of Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS) on patients and comparing and contrasting each case. There are currently around 400 patient cases we’ve looked at in the past; my job is to go in and collect data from the remaining 200 instances and input my finding into a database. The third project is one that I am in charge of. It consists of me accumulating all the information I can about the TIPS procedure. This includes a walk through of the procedure, patient information, and resources needed. Once I can accumulate sufficient information, I have to create a database for both patients and healthcare providers that explains all aspects of the procedure. Finally, I am working on designing and prototyping a new stent that could be used in a range of procedures and hopefully significantly decrease the amount of Hepatic Encephalopathy cases a year. I am currently applying for multiple research grants and getting a team together to start brainstorming what the prototype will look like as well as strategizing and coming up with a solid timeline.

My research projects connect to my current and future academics because they mimic the type of work I hope to be doing in the future. All the techniques that I am learning, whether it be in relation to lab techniques or writing techniques mimic that of what I’m expected to be able to do in my sciences courses at Whitman. In addition, it will help me once I am applying for Medical school as well as studying to get my Ph.D. Hopefully, by being exposed to this opportunity at an earlier stage in my career I’ll be able to build off new information quickly and be more efficient in certain aspects of my education.

Experiences like Arianna Anoushiravani’s are made possible by the Whitman Internship Grant, which provides funding for students to participate in unpaid internships at both for-profit and non-profit organizations. To learn how you could secure a Whitman Internship Grant or host a Whitman intern at your organization, click here or contact Assistant Director for Internship Programs Mitzy Rodriguez

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