WRAIR Externship Graduation Ceremony
On July 31, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research hosted a graduation ceremony for externs who concluded the three-week program. Both Ana Kuchuashvili and Ani Rukhadze are San Diego State University – Georgia students who were selected from a highly competitive pool of STSU/TSU applicants.
The students were instructed on the importance of biosafety best practices and learned to perform basic microbiological procedures in bacteriology. The tools that they learned about are essential to research and development of new diagnostics to pinpoint the pathogens that cause disease and create new infectious diseases therapies. An added bonus is that these are the same technologies that the students may someday rely on to diagnose and treat their patients if they decide to pursue a clinical healthcare profession. Participating in the externship is a win-win for the student, whether they choose research or clinical careers.
During the final week of externship students applied their training to utilize these techniques in order to identify “unknown bacteria” selected by the highly proficient USAMRD-G technicians who trained them. Ana and Ani presented their findings to the USAMRD-G staff during their graduation ceremony as they were awarded their certificates.
The over-arching objective of the externship with USAMRD-G and SDSU/TSU is to plant the seeds of biochemical and microbiological research in SDSU/TSU’s brightest students and to form relationships with tomorrow’s STEM professionals that will be beneficial to United States and Georgia in protecting our Warfighter and our civilian populations against the threat of emerging infectious disease.