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Summers ’22 to Continue Research at Mass Gen Cancer Center


After previously serving as an intern, Elizabeth “Tatie” Summers ’22 will continue her work with the Brastianos lab at Massachusetts General Cancer Center as a full-time research technician after graduation. The lab’s goal is to identify genomic drivers of brain metastasis. Below she discusses her career path and preparation at Hamilton.

What inspired you to pursue research professionally?

It came down to both my short- and long-term goals. I knew I wanted to take a gap year and enjoy researching for at least two years. However, my long-term goal has always been to be a doctor.

Elizabeth “Tatie” Summers ’22

Major: Neuroscience

Hometown: West Chester, Pa.

High School: Unionville High School

Extracurriculars: EMT with HCEMS, tour guide, co-president of HAAND (Hamilton Autism Advocates for Neurodiversity)

read about other members of the class of 2022

This lab felt like a great fit for both research, medicine, and patient care. In particular, experiencing clinical patient interaction really appealed to me. This lab has a nice mix of coordinating consenting patients to clinical trials and collecting and processing lab samples, like tissue and phlebotomy samples.

Tell me about your Hamilton pre-health track and preparation?

My sophomore year, I began research in the Neuroscience Department with Professor [Siobhan] Robinson. Not only did this make me a more marketable candidate, but I also learned hands-on about writing manuscripts and [from] watching her work. Additionally, working as an EMT on campus introduced me to the clinical experience of interacting with patients. Overall, it greatly impacted my interpersonal communications.

My pre-health advisor, Leslie Bell, told me about the Brastianos lab at Mass Gen opening for an intern. Coincidentally, my former organic chemistry TA also worked in the lab. I immediately jumped at the opportunity and applied. The more I learned about the lab and spoke with people, I [found out] that I’ll be the fourth Hamilton person to work at the lab. The strong Hamilton connections at the lab are really impressive to me.

What are you looking forward to?

Researching at the Brastianos lab really makes me feel like I’m a part of something. The lab’s culture is incredibly collaborative and welcoming, which makes me even more excited about science and medicine.

Also, working in an environment where I am constantly surrounded by individuals with Ph.D.s, M.D.s, and different inputs is really enriching. In particular, Priscilla Brastianos, the primary investigator of the lab and neuro oncologist, drew me back to the lab. She is an incredible doctor who I was fortunate enough to shadow and learn from.

Any advice for others on the pre-health track?

For research, getting involved at Hamilton helps immensely. Also, put yourself out there by sending emails and talking to people. You never know what could lead to an internship or job.

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