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NIH Summer Internships

Speakers Bureau

Topic: NIH Summer Internships
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Mercedes E. Arana, Ph.D.

Mercedes E. Arana, Ph.D.

Audience: K-12, undergraduates, graduate students, and community organizations

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A native of Florida, Dr. Arana attended Florida State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She received her Doctorate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Leonard Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. Her graduate work focused on DNA transactions in the herpes simplex type-1 genome.

Continuing with the theme of DNA replication, she joined the DNA Replication Fidelity group as an IRTA Postdoctoral Fellow at NIEHS. Her interests are directed towards understanding the fidelity of human DNA polymerases in addition to studying proteins involved in mismatch repair processes. In her current position as a biologist, her focus on human DNA polymerases continues and expands towards studying genome-wide gene expression changes in yeast strains.

Recently, Arana has expanded her teaching and mentoring experience by giving several lectures to students participating in the NIH Summer Internship program, undergraduate students from North Carolina Central University and high school science teachers during EHP workshops. She has also been involved in several outreach projects with Chapel Hill, Durham and Miami-Dade county schools.

Michelle Heacock, Ph.D.

Michelle Heacock, Ph.D.

Audience: K-12, undergraduates, graduate students and community organizations

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Originally from Canada, Dr. Heacock received her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Texas A & M in College Station, Texas. Her dissertation topic focused on following the extreme terminal ends of chromosomes, telomeres, as they progressed into end-to-end chromosome fusions. Her current post-doctoral research is a structure/function study of the DNA repair enzyme, Pol Β, in response to DNA damage.

Deborah Wilson

Deborah Wilson

Audience: 9-12th grade and undergraduates

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Wilson is the coordinator for the NIH Summer Internship program. She worked from 1999-2006 at the National Human Genome Research Institute at NIH, and has worked at NIEHS since 2006.

Born and raised in Northern California, Wilson has a B.A. in European History from San Francisco State University.

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Our speakers can travel up to 50 miles from the NIEHS campus in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Please allow at least four weeks to make arrangements.

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