Company/Organization: HUMC Department of Clinical Virology
Mentor(s):Dr. Gary Munk
Topic of Internship
The HUMC Department of Clinical Virology is located in Hackensack, NJ. It is a lab that provides the latest diagnostic and clinical research services. Testing occurs there for many viruses such as Herpes Simplex 1 and 2, RSV, Influenza, and HIV. The department is under the direction of Dr. Gary Munk Ph.D. He also serves on the Bergen County Task Force for the West Nile Virus in the New Jersey Department of Health and on the Senior Services Bergen County Department of Health Services Active Surveillance Program. Several technicians work in the lab and carry out a variety of tests.
Summary of Internship
An internship at HUMC Clinical Virology allows any senior who is interested in the sciences to have an opportunity of gaining an experience that would not be given anywhere else. I worked closely with Dr. Gary Munk, the director of the lab. In the beginning of the year, he assigned me to become an expert on the HIV virus. I have researched the most current news on the virus, as well as the medications and tests used to fight it. Such tests are called Phenosense GT (TM), which measures the sensitivity of the HIV strain of a positive individual to the antiretroviral medications to see if there is any drug resistance, and the HIV viral Load Test, which measures how many copies/ML of HIV strains are in an HIV individual. The HIV Viral Load Test is performed at this lab. I also learned about the significances oh international annual AIDS conferences dealing with the virus. Not only did I learn about HIV, I also learned about other viruses and their behaviors from my observations of the technicians' work in the lab. Following my research, I would have intellectual and interesting conversations with Dr. Munk. This internship made me realize how important it is to have some knowledge of HIV and other diseases like Herpes and Influenza.
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