Cara Guernsey
August 15, 2022

Learning at Known Medicine

My internship at Known Medicine this summer has been incredible. Working in the lab with the Known Medicine Biology Team has taught me invaluable technical and interpersonal skills that will benefit my career. By gaining more experience with 3D cell culture and applying a variety of techniques to the platform, I feel more confident in my abilities as a bench scientist. However, I am not walking away from this experience with just increased technical capabilities. I now also have greater knowledge about the biotechnology industry as a whole as well as exposure to drug discovery specifically.

I enthusiastically immersed myself immediately within the Known Medicine community, staying late to learn more about the technology, process freshly resected cancer patient tumor samples, and working with the incredibly intelligent scientists in this company. I was able to quickly learn the protocol and became independently proficient within a week of my arrival. One of my summer projects aimed to create a metric to track drug stability within our novel platform. To tackle this goal, I utilized Beer-Lambert’s law, which states there is a linear relationship between the concentration and the absorbance of a solution; thus, it enables the unknown concentration of a solution to be calculated by measuring its absorbance. My project enabled our team at Known Medicine to identify compounds at risk of being incorrectly diluted before treating the patient-specific organoids. Additionally, we were able to troubleshoot potential methods to correct the drug dilution discrepancies. 

While Beer-Lambert’s law was first introduced to me in my introductory chemistry course, using this principle in real life on actual patient samples was not only satisfying, but will also help me relate other biochemistry concepts to real-world applications. Additionally, I have further developed my professional and personal skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving, by designing and executing my own experiment that aligned with the Known Medicine’s goal to improve cancer patient lives. 

Ultimately, this internship experience has shaped who I am as a biomedical engineer and how I want to positively impact the biotechnology industry after graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology later this academic year. Although I will always cherish the scientific lessons and relationships I developed with this talented team, the summer would not have been the same, though, if Known Medicine was located anywhere else. I was able to take advantage of the beautiful landscape, delicious food, and bountiful fun in Salt Lake City and Utah as a whole. From hiking Bells Canyon Trail to Lower Falls locally to visiting Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah, I absolutely loved my time exploring the great outdoors with my new colleagues and friends from Known Medicine.

Overall, this summer internship was well worth moving across the country, and I hope to return to Salt Lake City soon! Humongous thank you to my lab team for their support and mentoring over the past three months. My experience would not have been this amazing without you!

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