Computer Science for Biological Research
Ashley Meng, with an interest in how computer science can be used in biological research to advance medicine, chose to spend her summer interning in a country well-known as a leader in biomedical research. She interned at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, a renowned institution that employs scientists and students from around the globe.
THE BENEFIT OF WORKING WITH INTERNATIONAL INDIVIDUALS IS THAT THEY BRING ALONG WITH THEM THEIR DIVERSE BACKGROUNDS.
“What united us was our common love for science and scientific exploration, a passion that any MIT student can easily relate to.”
Ashley’s project specifically involved studying the feeding behavior of the fruit fly larvae. By analyzing such seemingly small actions, it is thought that a basic neural understanding of how risky decisions are made and influenced can be drawn. Challenges she encountered during her time revolved around the usage of an assay that had only been recently developed in the lab.
In addition to becoming acquainted with her coworkers, Ashley was also able to find time to meet and — by sharing common interests — become friends with people from countries such as Scotland, England, Germany, Belgium, and Canada. “Forming these memorable bonds in a completely unfamiliar country was ultimately what made me feel welcomed and at home,” she explains.