Tag Archives: Science and Technology

Online Research Training

Reminder: While your faculty mentor is your best resource for training, Middlebury also has some great online subscriptions.

CITI Program: It is highly recommended that all summer researchers complete the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) module. You will need to create an account and login to save your progress. All students can take any of the research training modules Middlebury has available. You will receive a certificate at the end of each module.

LinkedIn Learning: Middlebury has an institutional subscription to LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com) providing free access to thousands of courses on technology, software and web development, business, and design or tutorials on skills in software like Excel and the Adobe suite, or writing a resume or cover letter. It is a great resource to check out.

Walk Me Through Your Resume: How to think like an employer and share your transferable skills

Tuesday, July 28 from 2-3 pm ET

In this session presented by advisors in CCI, you’ll learn how to identify, describe, highlight, and communicate the skills and knowledge you’re gaining through your summer research experience. Please have a copy of your resume and a sample position you might consider applying to on-hand for this workshop.

Click below to go to Handshake and register, and get the Zoom link to participate.

Thinking About Graduate Study?

Tuesday, July 7 from 2-3 pm ET

Hear from faculty about their graduate experiences and advice they have for students considering that path. Your questions are welcome!

Featured Faculty: Prof. Erin Eggleston (Biology); Prof. Andrew Fieldhouse (Economics); Prof. Jason Grant (Computer Science); Prof. Daniel Suarez (Environmental Studies) and Sarah Wall ’16 (MD/PhD).

Sign up by 7/6. You will receive the zoom link in your registration confirmation.

Article: A ‘Cure for Heart Disease’? A Single Shot Succeeds in Monkeys

By Gina Kolata June 27, 2020

What if a single injection could lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides — for a lifetime?

In the first gene-editing experiment of its kind, scientists have disabled two genes in monkeys that raise the risk for heart disease. Humans carry the genes as well, and the experiment has raised hopes that a leading killer may one day be tamed.

“This could be the cure for heart disease,” said Dr. Michael Davidson, director of the Lipid Clinic at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research.

But it will be years before human trials can begin, and gene-editing technology so far has a mixed tracked record. It is much too early to know whether the strategy will be safe and effective in humans; even the monkeys must be monitored for side effects or other treatment failures for some time to come.

The results were presented on Saturday at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, this year held virtually with about 3,700 attendees around the world. The scientists are writing up their findings, which have not yet been peer-reviewed or published.

What if a single injection could lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides — for a lifetime?

In the first gene-editing experiment of its kind, scientists have disabled two genes in monkeys that raise the risk for heart disease. Humans carry the genes as well, and the experiment has raised hopes that a leading killer may one day be tamed.

“This could be the cure for heart disease,” said Dr. Michael Davidson, director of the Lipid Clinic at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research.

But it will be years before human trials can begin, and gene-editing technology so far has a mixed tracked record. It is much too early to know whether the strategy will be safe and effective in humans; even the monkeys must be monitored for side effects or other treatment failures for some time to come.

The results were presented on Saturday at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, this year held virtually with about 3,700 attendees around the world. The scientists are writing up their findings, which have not yet been peer-reviewed or published.

The researchers set out to block two genes: PCSK9, which helps regulate levels of LDL cholesterol; and ANGPTL3, part of the system regulating triglyceride, a type of blood fat. Both genes are active in the liver, which is where cholesterol and triglycerides are produced. People who inherit mutations that destroyed the genes’ function do not get heart disease.

People with increased blood levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol have dramatically greater risks of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes, the leading causes of death in most of the developed world. Drug companies already have developed and are marketing two so-called PCSK9 inhibitors that markedly lower LDL cholesterol, but they are expensive and must be injected every few weeks.

Researchers at Verve Therapeutics, led by Dr. Sekar Kathiresan, the chief executive, decided to edit the genes instead. The medicine they developed consists of two pieces of RNA — a gene editor and a tiny guide that directs the editor to a single sequence of 23 letters of human DNA among the genome’s 32.5 billion letters.

Conversation with John Maletis, Head of Product, Engineering, & UX – Chrome OS at Google

Graduation Year: 1999
Major: Economics

How did your time at Middlebury lead you to pursue a career in technology? How did you make the major transitions in your career? At Middlebury, I was an Economics major and Computer Science minor. While I enjoyed both disciplines, I found myself really enjoying my computer science classes, especially towards my junior and senior years.  I’d often start with the assigned problem sets, but end up building something completely different to tackle an opportunity that I was observing. Suppose it wasn’t great for my grades, but ultimately I think it was exactly what my professors would want out of their students… at least, that’s how I rationalized it!

In my junior year, I had an opportunity to intern with Accenture. It was a great place to start my career, since it allowed me to work on the most challenging technology problems for companies across several industries.  Ultimately, I decided that I didn’t want to write code all day every day and I wanted to build more business acumen, so I went to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.  Aside from the benefit of getting back into the woods, it allowed me to narrow down exactly what I wanted to do with my career.

After graduating from Tuck, I joined Google where I’ve been for the past twelve years and I currently lead our Chrome Operating System (Chromebooks!).

What were your most memorable experiences at Middlebury? What did you like about Middlebury the most? First of all, I met my wife at Middlebury. That was a life event. She went to Middlebury as well and we graduated in the same year, so we’re padding the stats of Middlebury alumni marrying one another.  I also enjoyed playing basketball and baseball while at Middlebury.  My most memorable moments were probably the spring days on the baseball field.  But I also had a lot of really close friends who did not play any sports. That is what I liked most about Middlebury, that there were so many different types of people and I could float around and get to know people.

I also liked being in a rural setting. It took me away from big cities that are usually earmarked for a specific industry. At Middlebury I was able to take a step back and decide for myself what I wanted to pursue, without being distracted by the outside forces.

What qualities do you usually look for in prospective candidates to join your team, especially knowing that they come from a Liberal Arts background? I look for people who are highly collaborative — team players who know when to lead and when to follow. I also look for people who are problem solvers. At Google we are constantly faced with new problems that have never been solved before. Having creative problem-solving skills are essential to my team. I think folks with a liberal arts background constantly ask the root of the root of the root of a problem so that we can solve that issue, as opposed to the surface level problem.

Another thing I usually find in Middlebury students is an incredibly strong work ethic – people always willing to go that extra mile to deliver results for their team and their company.

What is your advice for Middlebury students seeking mentorship and networking opportunities? I would suggest that students start with their Middlebury network. There are so many Middlebury alumni in the technology industry who are eager to help Middlebury students who are just starting their careers. From a mentor’s perspective, it is very helpful for me to understand the challenges junior team members are going through. Mentorship is not a one-way street. Students should not be shy to reach out to mentors – generally speaking people want to help other people, especially if there’s that Middlebury connection.  And both mentors and mentees get value out of the experience together. 

This series is coordinated by Xiaoli Jin ’19. Look for more alumni profiles each week. You can connect with Xiaoli on LinkedIn.

If you are interested to interview alumni and contribute to this series, please contact Xiaoli Jin 2019′ on Midd2Midd.

In this time of social distancing, we are all looking for new ways to stay connected, and Midd2Midd is one of them! Midd2Midd connects Middlebury students, alumni, and parents, supporting mentoring, networking, and engagement within the Middlebury community around the world. Midd2Midd is your place to make things happen. Simply complete your profile, create a customized search, and begin to network!

Pride + Work: #MonsterGrads Virtual Career Panel

When it comes to getting your first job out of school, finding the right fit should be just as important as finding employment.

For many, that means working for an organization that values an inclusive and diverse workplace culture. In this fantastic panel facilitated by our friends at Monster.com, we hear from LGBTQ+ professionals from some of the country’s leading companies, who discuss the importance of finding a company that values your identity as much as your work. Watch to learn how to network with fellow LGBTQ individuals, get tips on coming out at work, find a company with mental health resources in the workplace, and learn about the importance of finding a mentor.

We know there are unique challenges facing the class of 2020 in the job market, and we hope this webinar can provide the information you need to help you find a job that fits you. We encourage all students to view this excellent panel presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXqrKeX2scI

Featured Speakers:

  • Brianna Boles, Diversity & Inclusion Program Manager, Adobe
  • Kay Martinez, Assoc. Director, Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, MGH Institute of Health Professions
  • Jarvis Sam, Sr. Director, Talent Sourcing, Diversity Recruiting & Experience COE, Nike
  • Tom Bourdon, Head of Inclusion & Diversity, Staples

Workshop Sponsor:

Monster.com logo