Baker Institute for Animal Health


Baker Welcomes Summer Students

Johnny Wilson, from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, and Alexandra (Sandra) Jaarsma, from Utrecht University in The Netherlands.

The Baker Institute is proud to be hosting 14 student scientists from around the world as they gain experience and training in laboratory science this summer. Students from as far away as Peru and Australia have come to participate in the Leadership Program, the VIP Program, their own independent research, and our new Baker Summer Investigator program.

Alexandra (Sandra) Jaarsma is Leadership Program student from the Netherlands, working in Dr. Gerlinde Van de Walle’s laboratory for the summer characterizing stem cells derived from horse cancer tissue samples.

A veterinary student, Jaarsma says she is struggling to decide which direction she’d like to take her career: into veterinary practice or into the lab as a researcher. Her supervisor, Dr. Floryne Buishand, is a former Leadership student herself and strongly recommended the program to Jaarsma as a way to explore research before committing to one path or the other.

“I really enjoy being in the lab,” says Jaarsma. “I hope this experience can help me figure out what I really want in my future career plans.”

Another Leadership Program participant, Johnny Wilson, hails from Northern Ireland and is earning his veterinary degree at the University of Cambridge Veterinary School in the United Kingdom. He says he considered a number of different programs that could enhance his veterinary education, but the Leadership Program at Cornell stood out.

“This program offers more exposure to different experiences and opportunities and contact with experts in different fields and people in industry,” says Wilson. For his research project this summer he’s working in Dr. Colin Parrish’s lab studying the distribution of the receptor for parvovirus in dogs. Wilson says he’s hoping to tease apart a possible relationship between where the receptor, called transferrin, is expressed and the pathology of the disease caused by parvovirus.

For the Leadership and VIP students, the summer experience culminates in August, when they present their work to the college. Leadership Program students will deliver their final presentations August 6th and 7th from 12:00-5:00 pm in LHIII research tower at the College of Veterinary Medicine. The VIP students will deliver their final presentations on Wednesday, August 6th from 8:30-11:30 am in the Hagan Room at the College of Veterinary Medicine.