Flying to California after completing his sophomore year at Towson University was Ricardo Mack’s first time on a plane. And the adventure to follow—a summer fellowship in a genetics research lab at Stanford University—was also full of firsts.
First internship. First best poster presentation award. First time making valuable connections with colleagues on the other side of the country.
Fortunately, research itself was not a first for Mack, thanks to working in TU Associate Professor Barry Margulies’ herpes virus lab the previous academic year. Mack had already presented findings, created a research poster and assisted in writing an abstract.
“He [Margulies] really focused on making me comfortable with multiple aspects of doing research,” says Mack. And having that prior experience set him up for success in the Stanford program.
“I felt great about that internship and made a lot of really great connections,” says the Anne Arundel County native, who went on to spend the summer after junior year doing cancer research at UMass Medical School.
Mack, who majors in molecular biology, biochemistry and bioinformatics (MB3), is also preparing for the future by taking advantage of a TU seminar series bringing professionals from institutions, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to campus to talk about their research and share information on professional development opportunities.
Once intimidated by the seminars, Mack says now that he has some experience in research, he’s right in the mix, asking questions and participating.
Grateful for the mentoring he receives from professors, such as Margulies, Mack has made mentoring others a priority, facilitating lab tours for students and sharing research opportunities.