MDC science students picked for prestigious internships

Connor V. Galvin, a second-year student in the biology pathway at Miami Dade College’s (MDC) School of Science, has been selected to participate in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) highly competitive Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). NIST is one of the world’s leading research organizations and home to four Nobel Prize winners.

Galvin is the first in his family to attend college. He was selected from a national pool of applicants for this extremely prestigious fellowship at Gaithersburg, MD, where he is spending 11 weeks working at NIST’s Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR). Under the supervision and mentorship of Dr. Travis Gallagher, he will learn how to use protein crystallography methods and techniques to examine the properties and uses of these highly complex molecules.

Galvin is dedicated in his pursuits of scientific knowledge, both in and out of the classroom. He volunteers in the biology laboratory and serves as tutor for his fellow students, while simultaneously maintaining a near perfect GPA. He hopes to pursue his PhD and become a scientific researcher after he completes his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences at MDC. The NIST SURF experience will prove invaluable in equipping this committed and deserving student to pursue his dreams.

Several other MDC science students are making their mark across the country. Angela Gomez Bedoya, who secured a fellowship with the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, MD, is working under the mentorship of microbiologist Dr. Jitender L. Dubey. Her project will focus on foodborne parasites and safety.

Born in Colombia, Gomez Bedoya moved to Miami at age 19. She is an MDCUSDAscholarship recipient and serves as a tutor for multiple science courses.

Dmitre St. Surin is spending his summer at the University of Iowa studying under the mentorship of Dr. Chioma M. Okeoma in the Department of Microbiology at Carver College of Medicine. This sponsored research program focuses on studies aimed to identify inhibitors of viral infection and transmission. St. Surin will return to MDC in the fall to complete his coursework toward a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences.

Mercedes Maduro has secured a coveted paid internship at Bio-Tissue, where she is working in the area of donor tissue review and recovery “making more money than any member of her family ever has,” according to Maduro. Bio-Tissue, a subsidiary of TissueTech, is the leader in regenerative biologic therapies and ocular hygiene solutions for eye care. Bio-Tissue serves an unmet need for helping eye care professionals heal ocular surface conditions, such as keratitis, recurrent corneal erosions and dry eye.

“This is just a small example of how MDC students can change the world,” said MDC School of Science Dean Dr. Heather J. Belmont. “This research can lead to cutting edge discoveries that influence how we treat infection, what we eat and the way we produce new materials. By participating in these opportunities, our students are paving their way to bright careers in science.”

To learn more about MDC’s School of Science, visit

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