Company/Organization: Hackensack University Hospital
Mentor(s):Dr. Gary B. Munk, Ph.D
Topic of Internship
The Clinical Virology Department at Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) was started 35 years ago by a medical visionary Dr. Peter A. Gross. Currently, the department operates under the direction of Dr. Gary B. Munk and nine dedicated medical technologists with collectively, more than 200 years of laboratory technical and consultative expertise. Clinically appropriate and cost effective bio-analysis incorporates medically necessary and intuitive viral testing algorithms, such as direct antigen and antibody detection, conventional and centrifugation enhanced culture, isolation and identification techniques, as well as, molecular nucleic acid amplification detection systems. The Department of Clinical Virology at HackensackUMC participates as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Laboratory, U.S. Influenza Surveillance System and partners with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Division of Viral Diseases, National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) and Influenza Virologic Surveillance for New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Infectious and Zoonotic Disease Program.
Summary of Internship
The experience I had this year has been utterly one of the best I have ever had. Dr. Munk and his staff have been very kind as well as instructive while I interned there. Every week I went, there was a different experience waiting. It always varied from filing papers, to making reports on Excel which would be sent to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or to World Health Organization (WHO), to attending meetings with Dr. Munk, recieving tutorials from Dr. Munk himself, to watching the medical technologists at work with fascinating and often intricate procedures. Since the laboratory is well equipped with "cutting-edge" equipment, it was amazing to see the machines at work. I remember the time I was allowed to see one of the lab technicians use the dark room to test to see if a sample had evidence of HSV 1 and/or 2. The interesting part of this incident was that the sample had fluorescent dye applied to it so what the lab techician saw in the dark room was glowing, and I was allowed to actually see under the microscope this phenomenon. This internship provided me a great opportunity to become well acquianted with viruses, which will be an invaluable asset to my future career and in my higher learning. In addition, I had access to the most recent information of the population's health. I definitely learned so much more than I could have ever possibly learned in textbooks and in the classroom.
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