Autism Research at CHOP

This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the 2018 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Luis Rosario, COL ’19

This past summer I had the amazing opportunity to work in the Biomagnetic Imaging Laboratory in the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. During my time at the Biomagnetic Imaging Laboratory, I was able to develop many professional skills that I know will help me become a great researcher and hopefully physician one day. I was able to work closely with the researchers every day, learning how to interact closely with child subjects both on and not on the autism spectrum. I was able to gain a deep understanding and appreciation for this specific disorder as well as learn how to deal with certain behaviors that these subjects may have as a result of the disorder. I feel that these interactions have helped me develop an ability to interact with individuals that have been afflicted by a certain disorder, and these skills will allow me to interact better with patients in the future once I finally have a chance to treat patients.

Furthermore, I was able to understand how a research laboratory works as a result of the funding. I was able to attend weekly lab meeting and also participate occasionally as well. I gained the ability to be able to communicate effectively about projects I was assisting with in a professional research setting, which will greatly boost my skills in the time I take working hopefully in a research lab before I apply to medical school. Additionally, I was able to attend the Biomagnetic Imaging Laboratory’s annual retreat, which consisted of an entire day of various primary investigators presenting their current on-going research. I had the opportunity to interact with all the researchers as well as the research staff, and gain insight into all the work necessary for a research project’s completion. I was so lucky and grateful to be able to engage with the researchers as well as their work for that entire day, which would not have been possible without the funding that allowed me to work in the lab for the summer. Before I apply to medical school, I hope to use these skills to contribute to the growing knowledge of various mental disorders and dedicate time to assist in research that will hopefully make diagnosing and treating these individuals easier and more accessible.

I would not have been able to have these amazing experiences without the funding I received! I was able to develop professional skills that will help me in the future after graduation as well as gain confidence in my ability to contribute to a professional research setting. I am confident in that this experience has helped my professional development, and I am excited to apply these skills to help people that need it most in the near future.

Author: Student Perspective

Views and opinions from current Penn students.