The Craig and Galen Brown Foundation has itself become a tremendous Aggie legacy in fulfilling our very mission at Texas A&M to recruit, mentor, and graduate the very best students prepared to assume roles of leadership, responsibility and service to society…Craig and Sue, their family and team of advisors take active roles with each and every student selected and that makes for a truly transformational learning experience for the lives of these students well beyond graduation.
- Michael Young – Texas A&M University President -
The Craig and Galen Brown Foundation scholarships are the most impressive personal commitment to higher education in the United States today… The only thing more impressive is the students themselves. I have attended every Brown Foundation Scholar dinner since I became a Regent, and I come away with the same humbling feeling every year.
- Charles Schwartz – Chair of A&M Board of Regents -
Explore Ways to Support The Next GenerationDonate
The Craig & Galen Brown Foundation (“Brown Foundation”) has been granted 15 automatic acceptances to the Houston Methodist Research Institute Summer Undergraduate Research Internship (“HMRI Internship”). The HMRI Internship is a highly competitive national program offering a unique 10-week research opportunity to approximately 50-55 students. Interns are paired with a faculty member, medical students, and post doc students in a lab focused on a single research project. Interns also attend weekly didactic lectures given by mentors, invited speakers and other leaders and participate in social networking events. The Brown Foundation provides a $3,500 scholarship to Brown Scholars participating in the HMRI Internship. HMRI does not pay summer interns participating in the Internship. HMRI works with the University of Houston and St. Thomas University to provide summer housing for interns; however, Brown Scholars have also used AirBnB for housing accommodations. The Brown Foundation announces the following requirements and guidelines for Brown Scholars participating in the HMRI Internship:
Brown Scholars may participate in a subsequent Internship to continue research intended for publication.
This summer, I am researching the mechanical and osteogenic properties of a mineralized collagen scaffold implant in Dr. Taraballi’s lab. The project involves stress testing, gait analysis, and quantifying bone regrowth in mice as well as analyzing the regenerative potential in the presence of chemotherapy. The ultimate translational goal is to help patients recover mobility and function after osteosarcoma.
This summer, I am working on researching nanomedicine applications under Dr. Biana Godin, aiming to improve therapeutic options in oncology. Specifically, our team is developing a nanotherapy aimed to disrupt the activity of a signaling pathway involved in tumor growth and metastasis in advanced ovarian cancer. My project involves the synthesis and characterization of nanoparticles that will be used for this purpose. They will be further tested for efficacy and optimized for delivery during various in vitro and in vivo studies. By taking a novel approach to cancer treatment using nanomedicine, this research has the potential to address the issue of chemotherapy resistance in advanced ovarian cancer and drastically improve outcomes for patients affected by this deadly malignancy.
I’m currently interning in Dr. Villapol’s neuro-regeneration lab where I’m working on a project studying liposome-based nanoparticles to deliver a promising anti-inflammatory drug (Dexamethasone) into the brain. Specifically in patients who have suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), reducing inflammation prevents further neurodegeneration or even surgery and prohibits side effects. I have really enjoyed the unique experience of learning the technical skills from operating a microscope to slicing brains in a cryostat. Even with being here for a few weeks, I am integrated into the research team in every facet. It’s the perfect opportunity to test your interest in research, and the skills you gain are transferable to any field.
During my internship at the Houston Methodist Research Institute, I worked under Dr. Zheng Li in the Radiochemistry Laboratory. My project focuses on the applications of cell-derived vesicles for targeted tumor treatment. Through this internship, I have learned how to aseptically culture cells, transfect cells to introduce recombinant plasmid DNA, use a fluorescent microscope, and analyze data through software such as ImageJ and Prism. Additionally, I have learned how the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway relates to immunotherapy and how radiolabeling and PET imaging are used to study the pharmacokinetics of drugs. By introducing me to the daily life of professional researchers and the early-stage development of cancer treatment, this internship has helped me better understand the structure of the medical field and my interests within it.
I work in Dr. Stephen Wong’s lab on using computational methods to screen for stroke. Specifically, I am developing an android and iOS app that utilizes machine learning to detect and score subtle signs of stroke in videos of patients performing tasks.
I am in Dr. Weng’s Neuroregeneration Lab. They are wanting to find therapeutic approaches to treat stroke and neurodegenerative diseases. We are looking at the role of m6A RNA methylation in regulating RNA translation to synthesize proteins. I am doing data analysis of information from various human cell lines to see if there is a correlation between RNA-seq data and the binding of a specific protein throughout the genome. I will identify what region of DNA this protein is binding to and see if it attaches to any specific sequences. Ideally this could be used to create a program that could predict levels of gene expression based on genetic variations in an individual.
I have been enjoying the experience so far and Dr. Weng has been great at focusing on exposing me to skills that will be beneficial in my future classes and career. I was initially disappointed because I thought I would be spending more time conducting experiments than coding, but the people in my lab have been incredibly flexible and willing to compromise so I can do a bit of both.