Allegheny College Junior, Pittsburgh Native Earns Prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute Internship

Angelina Winbush

March 16, 2016 – Allegheny College junior Angelina Winbush of Pittsburgh has been awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Exceptional Research Opportunities Program (EXROP) internship for summer 2016.

The award will allow Winbush, a global health studies major and biology minor, to spend 10 weeks doing full-time research in the lab of an HHMI scientist. It also provides a $5,000 award, participation in a local summer research program with other undergraduate researchers, and long-distance travel and housing arranged and paid for by HHMI.

This is the second time that an Allegheny College student has received an EXROP award. Erin Brown, a physics and mathematics double major who graduated from Allegheny in 2015, was awarded an EXROP internship to work at the Salk Institute for Biological Science during summer 2013 and did research at the Salk Institute as an EXROP summer capstone student scholar during summer 2014.

Winbush will be placed in the lab of Matt Waldor, M.D., Ph.D., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and faculty member at Harvard School of Medicine. Dr. Waldor and his team conduct research on infectious diseases.

“I decided to apply for EXROP because I wanted to gain additional research experience to supplement the clinical opportunities I’ve had,” Winbush says. “I plan on pursuing an M.D./MPH and hope to integrate research into my future career as a pediatrician. I am looking forward to learning with new research techniques as well as exploring the infectious diseases challenges at the forefront of public health today in Dr. Waldor’s laboratory.”

“Angelina is well positioned for this research position at Harvard through HHMI; she is an incredibly talented researcher and dedicated learner,” says Caryl E. Waggett, Ph.D., chair of global health studies and associate professor of environmental science at Allegheny. “Her training in global health studies has provided her with the theoretical framework necessary to align her research with her passion for improving access to preventative health strategies for high-risk populations. This summer research will allow her to refine her analytical skills while maintaining connections through Allegheny’s local and global programming to the populations and individuals who are most affected.”

At Allegheny, Winbush conducted summer research in the Department of Global Health Studies alongside Waggett. Winbush helped to evaluate the health status and needs of students at two low-income elementary schools in order to make recommendations for new and current wellness programs. She and three other students also have had a poster presentation accepted at the fifth annual Public and Global Health Education Summit in Washington, D.C.

Winbush serves as a health coach with Allegheny College and the Community Care Network in Meadville; education chair for the college’s Honor Committee; and resident adviser with the college’s Office of Residence Life.

In addition, she is a delegate to the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, which allowed her to travel to Warsaw, Poland, in 2013 and Cape Town, South Africa, in 2014. She also is a Youth Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State’s Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program.

The EXROP Program links the resources of HHMI’s Science and Science Education departments to provide outstanding summer research experiences to bright, motivated undergraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds and groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. HHMI continues to work with EXROP students after their summer study programs to encourage them to pursue careers in academic science.

Each year, approximately 125 scientists volunteer to mentor EXROP students in their labs during the summer. In addition to doing laboratory research, the students attend two meetings at HHMI’s headquarters in Chevy Chase, Md., to present their research in a poster session.

Since EXROP’s inception in 2003, 798 undergraduates from 160 colleges and universities have been matched with 214 HHMI investigators, professors, group leaders and early career scientists.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research