Leticia Montoya

Internship locations: Abcam and Thermo Fisher Scientific (Molecular Probes)
Currently employed at: Thermo Fisher Scientific
PhD awarded: June 2015

What are your general research interests?

My general research interests are Chemical Biology, Chemistry, Biology, Biological Imaging, Flow Cytometry, Fluorescent Microscopy, and Cancer Biology (High Throughput Screening).

Where was your internship?

I had two internships:
I did a six month internship at Abcam located in Eugene,
and I did a 4 month internship at Thermo Fisher Scientific (Molecular Probes) located in Eugene, OR

How did you identify your internship?

I did some research online and identified what companies in the vicinity of Eugene that implements the science I was interested in. Throughout my graduate career I made some connections with seminar speakers and faculty; so I contacted my connections and emailed the managers within the company directly and asked if they had room for an intern during the dates I was available. I followed up with multiple emails before I had anything concrete.

Additionally, I was granted the Julie and Rocky Dixon Graduate Innovation Fellowship; this help with funding and my stipend.

What was your internship like? What were you responsible for? What was a typical day like?

At Abcam I was responsible for developing and publishing immunoassays against metabolic and signaling targets (SimpleStep ELSA Assay). I formulating and validated assays for intracellular and extracellular targets, documented product development, and tested, analyzed, and equipped kits for product release.
At Thermo Fisher Scientific I was responsible for formulating products and assays for flow cytometry and high throughput screening. I developed cell-based assays for multicolor experiments in microscopy and flow cytometry.
At both internships I was responsible for documenting assays and product development, designing and executing experiments, as well as analyzing and presenting data to the rest of the science team.
My typical day was running experiments, attending meetings, and analyzing data.

How did your internship prepare you for your current position/career path?

Abcam helped me establish what industry entails (i.e. product development, employee expectations, etc…), how to present myself as a team member, and helped me establish to be confident in my science. I had to learn how to be confident amongst other scientist that have been working at the company for along period of time; but, I also had to learn that I could provide my opinion on protocols and layouts and co-workers respected my opinion.
Thermo Fisher Scientific (Molecular Probes) prepared me for multitasking with product development. I learned and extended on my attributes I learned at Abcam.
Summary, I learned from both experiences and both prepared me for fast-paced industry production.

Do you have any advice to prospective interns?

Networking is the best thing you can do throughout your years in graduate school.