Erin Bontrager was a Molecular Biology/Biochemistry major from New Paris, Indiana, who completed her internship at Harper Cancer Institute, a collaborative institute between Indiana School of Medicine-South Bend & Notre Dame.
She is currently working as a Medical Scribe with ScribeAmerica. She works with a cardiologist in South Bend as well as in the Elkhart General Emergency Department, and was also accepted to Indiana University School of Medicine, to start in the fall of 2020.
“My education at Goshen College gave me a good baseline understanding of biology and chemistry, so I could easily build more knowledge on top of that base. If I were to give any advice, it would be to build good relationships with your professors. They are always so willing to help and are a good resource for you as you leave GC.
“At Harper Cancer Institute, I worked with gastric cancer and researched how novel chemotherapy agents could work in combination with small molecule inhibitors to increase efficacy.
“This approach could also make chemotherapy less toxic to patients and increase both quality of life and median survival time. The laboratory techniques we used included cell cultures, proliferation assays, and Western blots, as well as in vivo work in immunodeficient mice.
“Overall, this internship was a wonderful way to learn more about techniques that I never learned in my college classes and to learn a bit more about research outside of classes.
“The liberal arts education has given me many opportunities to learn about other disciplines, while still thoroughly preparing me to attend medical school. Through opportunities like SST and internships, I have been pushed in ways students at other colleges aren’t, expanding my ethical decision making capabilities and empathy for others.”