By Adrienne Sylver
From undergrads interested in science to medical students and PhD candidates, FIU’s labs provide critical, hands-on experience.
The research environment at the new Translational Glycobiology Institute is exactly what Evan Ales, FIU’s first dual MD/Ph.D. degree student was looking for. “I joined Dr. Sackstein’s lab after finishing the majority of my third-year clinical rotation,” Ales said. “Working in this environment in my stage of development is immensely beneficial.” He is studying the glycans of a variety of tissues ranging from the central nervous system to leukemia.
Norhan Mohammed, an international medical graduate from Egypt who is a biochemistry Ph.D. student at FIU, works in Charles Dimitroff’s lab. She said, “The TGIF brings together skilled staff, modern laboratory equipment and robust research projects with expert collaborators.” She is working specifically on a project that focuses on discovering new therapeutic strategies to treat patients with melanoma.
Medical student Mariana Perez, who plans to become a dermatologist specializing in skin cancer, also works in Dimitroff’s lab. “I implement various techniques with melanoma cells including western blotting, flow cytometry, fluorescence-activated cell sorting, and real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. These have greatly complemented my current clinical knowledge.”
The NCI’s Krueger said he is encouraged that a vital field of science, which was nearly forgotten, is on the upswing again.
“Our labs are impacting the training and knowledge of our students. We are here to inform and build careers in glycosciences,” Dimitroff said. “We are probably the only medical school teaching glycans.”
Read more about the TGIF lab and the work of renowned researchers at FIU.