Nothing to Sneeze at
If you visit Thomas Corrielus at work, be careful where you put your lunch. It might give you frostbite.
The senior biology major is performing research in the immunology laboratory at Boston’s Brigham and Women's Hospital, where important lab samples are housed in clinical storage freezers clocking in at a staggering -80 degrees. (Eating from them is, as expected, not advised.)
Speaking of the cold (well, sort of—as in the common cold), Corrielus’s research sometimes involves runny noses. He’s studying an allergic enzymatic reaction in mice to better understand asthma and allergies, and the immune system as a whole.
Through the professional lab work, Corrielus has cultivated skills only touched upon in class. “I performed the ELISA assay technique [used to detect the presence of an antibody or antigen, and also as a diagnostic tool in medicine] in a biochemistry class, but in every class, you have to learn something new, ” he says. “At the lab, it’s crucial to our work, so I got to practice the technique until I fully mastered it.”
The real-world experience has also informed his future. “I’m interested in health care because I like to help people in a medical setting,” Corrielus says. “Along with my biology degree, exploring outside the classroom can help me decide which career would be the best fit.”