Between 24th and 28th of July, IHC-GHTM researcher Márcia Melo Medeiros and VBD-GHTM researchers Gustavo Capatti Cassiano and Pedro Cravo, received two high school students for an internship at the IHTM-NOVA laboratory specialized in seeking new or repositioned drugs against malaria. This was an initiative of “Ciência Viva no Laboratório – Ocupação Científica de Jovens nas Férias 2023”.
After two theoretical sessions to provide basic concepts about malaria and bioinformatic tools, the 10th grade student Lucas Lehnert and the 11th grade student Cristiana Luo participated in activities to identify new or repositioned compounds with antimalarial action, learned how to identify different Plasmodium species that infect humans based on morphological aspects of each species using optical microscopy, as well as clinical aspects of malaria disease.
“It made me realise that the knowledge we acquire is not only for our own benefit but is also something we can use to help others”
According to the student Lucas Lehnert “it was a very interesting and enriching experience. The researchers were very nice and friendly, always ready to help us and answer our questions (even if they didn’t make sense). I loved understanding how this disease develops and especially how they study it in the laboratory. I really enjoyed understanding their routine. This internship made me realise what field I would like to pursue. Thank you for the experience!”.
For the student Cristiana Luo, “the internship was very interesting and personally useful. I learnt a lot about malaria parasites, the routine of a scientist and a bit about the world of research, and I was also able to learn and understand the point of view of a medical doctor. We observed the diagnosis of malaria in some patients and their treatment through their medical history, and it really made me realise that the knowledge we acquire is not only for our own benefit but is also something we can use to help others”.
“For us scientists these initiatives are fantastic opportunities to train our ability to communicate science to different audiences”
Entitled “Parasites that cause malaria: visualization using optical microscopy, cultivation in human cells, analysis of the antimalarial activity of new or repositioned drugs”, this internship allowed the students to learn more about scientific research and technical procedures.
Márcia Medeiros also shared her perspective. “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”.
Learn more about the GHTM internships 2023 here:
«Ciência Viva» is the branded name of the Portuguese National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture, meaning «Live Science».