Week 7: Alex

As I am ending my internship in NYC, all I can say is that I will never forget the past 7 weeks here. I've learned a tremendous deal regarding what goes on in a hospital environment, which will be invaluable to my work in Ithaca.

I spent the first half of my week with the Clinical Microbiology laboratory team, participating in rounds with the residents & fellows. Also, I was able to have a great discussion with Dr. Westblade, PhD and Associate Director of the Clinical Microbiology lab. Speaking with physicians has been essential to my experience here, but speaking with a PhD gave me additional insight to the opportunities available to me should I pursue clinical work. The training for an MD is entirely different than one for a PhD and both require different skill sets. I've been told time and time again here that medicine is more of an art and diagnosis for certain diseases can be subjective. The PhD, on the other hand, will perhaps be more analytical. Both are essential …

Week Seven

This is the last week of being immersed resulting in a final push in finishing the data collection. This week was focusing on gathering the last of the pathology results to finish the database the team and I have been building this summer. We fortunately did that this week, but due to the amount of time it took, we have not been able to do any analysis on it yet. Therefore, for this final post I primarily want to thank everyone that I have worked with this summer. From Dr. Hu and Dr. Margolis who provided the mentorship for the project to the medical students and residents that helped gather all this data. Without them this summer would have been much less informing and entertaining. Also without them I would not have been able to find most of the places I ate at through the summer as they made so many suggestions. With that I will end this post and conclude this blog series. It was a lot of fun New York and I will be back to visit some time soon.

Week 7

During my last week, I was able to segment and analyze the rat tendon MRI scans for T2* values. As I mentioned last week, I used ITK-SNAP for segmentation and a custom MATLAB code for T2* quantification of each pixel in the segmented area. The resulting maps showed mean T2* relaxation times similar to those seen in fresh and frozen rabbit patellar tendons. These results suggest that UTE scans of rat tendons could be used to further investigate tendon injury and healing. Future tests could include comparing T2* values of healthy and diseased tendons. This would be potentially useful in a clinical setting, as there are currently no methods to detect tendon degeneration or healing in vivo. After returning to Ithaca, I will hopefully be able to continue contributing to this work by better characterizing our fatigue loading model of tendinopathy and sending additional rat specimens.

Week 7

For my last week in the OR, I observed a procedure that was the first of its kind in the country. In this case, the patient had previously received a sternum resection due to cancer. Although an implant was placed in place of the missing sternum, it needed to be replaced. To this end, the physicians on the case called for a custom designed 3D printed titanium implant to replace the sternum. This implant was created using CT scans of the patient’s own anatomy, ensuring that this artificial sternum would be tailored to the patient and fit perfectly. The surgery itself involved cutting through the chest wall and removing the previous implant. After removing some of the soft tissue on the rib cage, the implant was fit into place and securely screwed in. Dr. Spector’s part of the surgery was to reconstruct the chest wall by bringing muscle flaps over the implant.
In the research front, we have made multiple technical adjustments to the SMF platform to bring us closer to being able to reliab…

Week 7: This is not a goodbye, only “hasta luego”. (Josue)

It is hard to conceptualize the impact that the Summer Clinical Immersion Program has had in my life as a graduate student and future contributor to the field of biomedical engineering. These past weeks have served as a catalyst to rediscover my passion for the advancement of medicine and science. I feel extremely thankful for being able to experience clinical research in ways that were impossible to envision before coming to Weill Cornell Medical College. The professionalism, compassion, and willingness of medical doctors, scientist, and engineers to share their knowledge and expertise have been an instrumental part of the journey.
Furthermore, being immersed in the hospital setting for six consecutive weeks gave me the opportunity to be exposed to the entire spectrum of the medicine. By shadowing Dr. Stein on the clinic, I learned about the importance of preventive healthcare and the impact that personalized medicine could have in patients worldwide in the future. Although my interac…

Week 7 (Moni)

I spent my week analyzing my flow cytometry data and preparing a presentation for HSS's weekly Orthopedic Soft Tissue Research group meetings. This gave me the chance to learn how to use the analysis software, FlowJo, which will be instrumental for my work back at Cornell. I hope to keep this project going as a collaboration by having surgical discards shipped from HSS to Cornell, where I can expand cells and do analysis there.

I also finished building the new multiphoton stage, which allows for live imaging of a mouse patellar tendon with enough room between the objective lens and the animal. Although my stage works great, unfortunately the settings on the microscope were wrong and none of the students knew how to change it, so we could not actually image the tendon that day. However, with the redesigned stage, new students who will join the lab can take over the project. I taught the other summer students in the lab how to use some power tools and design and adjust the stage par…


With the end of our summer immersion approaching, I feel sad to say goodbye to all the persons I've met in the hospital during this summer. The past 7 weeks has been very fulfilling and exciting to me, and I will never forget my experience here. As a student will electrical engineering background, I never thought that I can be able to go to a real operation room in the hospital and observe doctors operating on surgeries. But in the past 7 weeks, I was able to go to OR every week, and there's always surgery techniques that are impressing to me.

Beside clinical experience, I also had a research project, automatic segmentation of zebra fish neuron images. As I have presented in my previous bloggers, for my project, I have tried several different algorithms. The first is simple thresholding. It is usually used as a preprocessing step in image analysis. The second method is watershed algorithm. It works pretty well, but, it's very sensitive to noise, resulting in over segmenta…