Working with purpose
Depending on your genes, your body may break down a drug too slowly or too quickly. If you metabolize a drug too slowly, you may be exposed to too much of it, which may result in an adverse drug reaction (ADR). However, if you metabolize a drug too quickly, you may not get enough to have any effect at all. Pharmacogenomics can help prevent this. “My mother was impacted by illness, which was originally why I wanted to go into medicine,” said Ross Higgins, the Director of Laboratory Operations at OneOme. “This really would’ve changed her outcome.” The personalized medicine that OneOme deals with could have a hugely positive effect for humanity in the near future. Catie Pfeilsticker, the current SciTech intern at OneOme, is a senior majoring in chemical engineering at the University of Minnesota. She concurs with the previous statement, “there’s a point to being here.”
The Innovation of pharmacology
Pharmacogenomics is transforming the forefront of the pharmacology industry and it is paving the way for the new field of ‘personalized medicine.’ Pharmacogenomics, also known as pharmacogenetics, is the study of how your genes impact what medicines work best for you. OneOme is innovating within this sector through the creation of the OneOme RightMed™ pharmacogenomics test. Genetic factors can account for up to 95% of how you respond to medications. The test can “generate a personalized report that goes back to your doctor or provider,” according to Jason Sheard, the Director of Product Development at OneOme. So, getting a pharmacogenomics test or PGx test may help your physician adjust your medications to be more effective for you.
Working at OneOme is “motivating in a different way,” said Catie, comparing classes to being an intern at OneOme. The SciTech Internship Program has given Catie insight into what her future might look like. “It’s given me confidence in being able to find a career. I know I’m going to be useful,” Catie said about her experience being an intern at OneOme through SciTech. Interns at OneOme and those placed through the SciTech are given hands-on experience in their field and are not confined to a ‘box.’
Interns make a difference
“It drives the team, keeps you fresh,” says Jason. This statement reflects the sentiment that interns can be an extremely valuable resource. “To have [the SciTech Internship Program] just encourages other people to see that benefit,” expressed Jason in reference to SciTech. SciTech connects STEM college students to small companies in Minnesota that are offering internships within the science and technology field, and provides a 50 percent match on intern wages – up to $2,500. “I thought it was a really good opportunity to apply to internships at smaller companies,” said Catie when addressing one of the benefits of the program for students.
The SciTech team works very hard to make the application process for both employers and students as simple as possible. SciTech has 110 wage matches remaining for 2017, and with nearly 1,000 prescreened students eager to find hands-on experience it’s definitely not too late to enroll and post an internship at SciTechMN.org . If you have any questions about SciTech please contact Becky Siekmeier at email@example.com or call 952-230-4241.