Between 1-12 August, VBD-GHTM researchers Márcia Melo Medeiros, Gustavo Capatti Cassiano, Pedro Cravo and Joana Marques received two high school students for an immersive internship at the IHTM-NOVA laboratory, specialized in seeking new or repositioned drugs against malaria (an initiative of Ciência Viva no Laboratório – Criar Futuro 2022).
“Ciência Viva no Laboratório – Criar o Futuro 2022” constitutes a summer internship programme, which promotes the experimental teaching of science and foster the attraction of young people to scientific careers.
After two theoretical sessions, planned to provide basic concepts about malaria and bioinformatic tools, the 11th grade students Maria Gomes and Gustavo Santos participated in the various activities developed in the laboratory specialized in the identification of new or repositioned compounds with antimalarial action, as well as in the insectary of IHMT-NOVA.
According to the internship responsible, Márcia Medeiros, “the experimental component aimed to understand the cycle of the parasite in the blood, by using in vitro cultures of human erythrocytes infected with Plasmodium falciparum parasite and the cycle of the parasite in the mosquito, by using Plasmodium berghei ANKA-GFP and Anopheles stephensi female mosquitoes, as well as the rational use of experimental models of rodents in the search for compounds with antimalarial action”.
Entitled “Malária total: explorando parasitas e hospedeiros na busca por medicamentos novos ou reposicionados contra a malária”, this internship allowed the students to learn more about scientific research and technical procedures.
“It was amazing! I believe that these initiatives are fantastic opportunities for young people to learn a bit about what science is and how science is done and be stimulated to think and wonder about why things happen, and for us scientists to train our ability to communicate science to different audiences”, added Márcia Medeiros.
For the high school students this internship was a “unique experience”, that “allowed us to immerse ourselves in a laboratory, and helped to create a more conceptualized idea about the work developed in it”. “All the IHMT-staff have helped us whenever necessary and made us feel welcomed at all times. We appreciate everyone’s availability and hospitality in this learning experience”, complemented the students.
This was one of two internships with which GHTM members contributed for the 26th edition of this programme. See also: Ciência Viva no Laboratório 2022: high school students discovered “the helminths around us!”
To know more about this program, visit website here.
«Ciência Viva» is the branded name of the Portuguese National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture, meaning «Live Science».