My name is Ali Leiter and this summer I am working as an undergraduate researcher in the enteric neurobiology department in the gastroenterology unit at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. This has been made possible by Dickinson’s Internship grant. I will be working on various projects, however my primary interest is creating a chip composed of cells that could replicate the gut-brain axis. This chip could potentially start to replace mouse-models that many laboratories use to conduct research. This summer, I will be working with mice to better understand the gut-brain axis. In the past two weeks, I’ve been making media to grow cells in, and making different solutions that preserve intestines and brains. Additionally, I’ve been completing a lot of research on the gut-brain axis in order to better understand the interactions between the two systems and the neural circuitry involved in their communication.

My lab is located in the Ross Research Building

My internship is located in Baltimore, Maryland. In my free time, I love going for runs around the city or hanging out with my roommates. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to explore the inner harbor area. There are so many good restaurants and interesting shops that I can’t wait to go back to. Transportation is super easy in the city too as Johns Hopkins provides a shuttle to all students, faculty and staff that can bring you all around Baltimore. I can’t wait to have the opportunity to see more places. Baltimore is very different from Carlisle– however, I’m excited to visit more places and get a better sense of the city.

I am so thankful for this opportunity, and can not wait to see what I am able to accomplish this summer!