Hello, my name is Shelby Thomas. I am a senior biotechnology major attending Claflin University. I am on the pre-med track, and I hope to become a cardiothoracic surgeon one day. I was placed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
The goal for me and my team was to produce new derivatives of ORNL’s SARS-CoV-2 inhibitor in hopes to improve the metabolic stability, oral bioavailability, and make improved compounds that contain industrially desirable pharmaceutical properties. I absolutely loved my project! It was interesting learning about the different ways I could positively affect not only the health industry but the lives of billions.
I truly believe my experience within this program has prepared me for future internships as I continue my pursuit of becoming a surgeon.
The Mentorship for Environmental Scholars (MES) Program was my first internship, and I am forever grateful to Mr. Brown, Dean Wess, and Ms. Cherry for bringing me onto their team and connecting me to my mentor and this project that I worked diligently on for ten weeks. The experience and the knowledge that I have gained is indescribable and I feel truly blessed to have been a part of something like this. I feel more confident, not only in myself, but with my laboratory and team building skills and I truly believe my experience within this program has prepared me for future internships as I continue my pursuit of becoming a surgeon.