Hello everyone! My name is Claire Shaver. I am from Telluride, Colorado, located in the bottom south-west corner of CO and about a 6 hour drive from Denver. This upcoming school year I will be a senior in high school. Whenever not in school, you often see me playing as goalie on my high school soccer team or volunteering for a nonprofit in Telluride called Telluride Adaptive Sports Program. This summer I had the chance to be an intern at the Bernier Lab for 7 weeks due to an amazing Telluride-based program called Pinhead Institute. Pinhead Institute has an internship program, which strives to get high school students into STEM labs over the summer between their junior and senior year. I have had the privileged to represent this program this summer at the Bernier Lab.
I found and became interested in the Bernier Lab by the ABC-CT study they just recently complete. I was interested in the lab because they are able to study those with autism by interacting with them rather than studying different genetic components in a regular lab setting. Over the past 7 weeks, I have been able to see this interaction first hand by being able to observe different testing they complete in order to assess common phenotype (what you see) features of autism. I was also able to attend two family conferences they hosted, DYRK1A and SCN2A, in which I was able to interact with the participants, learn more about these genetic events, and learn more about how the Bernier Lab completes the testing.
Want to learn more about my time in Seattle at the Bernier Lab? Read my weekly blog posts in which I talk about my daily tasks in the lab and other fun-activities I did during my stay in Seattle! I want to thank all those who made this internship possible: to Sarah Holbrooke at Pinhead for coordinating my internship, to Micah and Eva at the lab for being my mentors and teaching me about the different aspects in the lab, and to my Seattle host family for allowing me to stay their house for these 7 weeks.