Ahmad P. Tafti, PhD (2015)

Current Position: Asscoiate Research Scientist, Biomedical Informatics Research Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute.

During his internship, he worked on big data biomedical literature mining in the cloud. His research project was focused on designing efficient and practical machine learning methods for extracting high quality information from biomedical text data, and developing prediction models to classify information extracted from published biomedical articles. (Research area: Genetics, Biomedical Informatics)

The MCRF Summer Research Internship Program was an excellent match for my research interests. My experience here was extremely rewarding, and in addition to sharpening my machine learning and big data analysis skills, working with the outstanding researchers provided me additional valuable knowledge. Our well-organized weekly meetings were very helpful and always provided me with insightful constructive feedback of my work. I wish to kindly thank all MCRF scientists for their welcoming hands which situated me in a very conducive environment to learn and the research freedom to explore.

Publication: Ye, Z., Tafti, A.P., He, K.Y., Wang, K. and He, M.M., 2016. SparkText: Biomedical Text Mining on Big Data Framework. PloS one, 11(9), p.e0162721.


Colleen Bramwell (2014)

Current Position: Medical Student, Ross University School of Medicine.

As a summer intern, Colleen studied whether there is an association between the severity of sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease by conducting a case-control study among adults who had undergone a sleep study from 2007 through 2013. Defining a case of cardiovascular disease as patients who experienced intervention (either Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angiogram or Coronary Artery Bypass Graft) or death subsequent to their sleep study, the study concluded that severity of sleep disturbance is a risk factor for cardiovascular events. (Research area: Clinical Research)


Ethan Heinzen (2014)

Current position: Statistical Programmer Analyst, Mayo Clinic.

During his internship, Ethan worked on implementing a statistical analysis method for analyzing exome-chip data, unifying both related and unrelated samples. (Research area: Genetics/Biomedical Informatics)

"I am immensely grateful for my time working with Dr. He through the MCRF. The summer internship gave me valuable, hands-on experience in biostatistics and bioinformatics, which helped me stand out among colleagues down the road. I was impressed with MCRF's commitment to its summer interns, and would definitely recommend the program to anyone considering a career in research."


Jessica (Perkins) Simich, MPH (2014)

Current position: Senior Evaluator, CCNY, Inc.

During her internship, Jessica qualitatively and quantitatively described the levels of influence agricultural bankers leverage in central Wisconsin dairy farmers' day-to-day decision-making and behaviors. (Research area: Cultural/Medical Anthropology)

"My internship at MCRF was an amazing opportunity and unique experience.  I was able to truly learn the significance of qualitative research through a hands-on approach, which built on my background of quantitative research.  The knowledge and skills gained through working with Dr. Bendixsen helped me focus my professional goals and guide my career path.  I am thankful and appreciative for the 12 weeks I was able to spend learning from a great mentor in an education focused foundation."


Amy Callear

Amy Callear, MPH (2013)

Current position: Clinical Research Coordinator, University of Michigan School of Public Health.

During her internship, Amy worked on a study that assessed how well certain genetic variants could predict types of inflammatory arthritis. (Research area: Genetics)

"The internship was truly a unique experience due to the immersion in research and the strong focus on education. I believe the skills I acquired - from working with sophisticated computer applications to presenting my work - would benefit students interested in a variety of disciplines and careers. I consider this internship to be an invaluable experience that greatly enriched my undergraduate career and motivated me to further pursue research."

Publication: Schrodi SJ, Mukherjee S, Shan Y, Tromp G, Sninsky JJ, Callear AP, Carter TC, Ye Z, Haines JL, Brilliant MH, Crane PK, Smelser DT, Elston RC, Weeks DE. Genetic-based prediction of disease traits: prediction is very difficult, especially about the future. Front Genet. 2014 Jun 2;5:162.


Erica (Swenson) Walters (2013)

Current position: Medical Student, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Medicine and Public Health.

Erica’s summer project was to evaluate the utility of whole body radiographs in making diagnoses in the stillbirth population. (Research area: Genetics/Clinical Research)

"My summer at the Marshfield Clinic was not only an incredible learning experience, but it also reassured me that I am pursuing the correct career path. Working with Dr. McPherson and the rest of the Medical Genetics team reminded me that it is certainly possible to incorporate research into my future practice. I could not have asked for a better summer research experience."

Publication: Swenson E, Schema L, McPherson E. Radiographic evaluation of stillbirth: what does it contribute? Am J Med Genet A. 2014 Sep;164A(9):2270-5.


Stephanie Omage, MPH (2013)

Current position: Medical Student and Graduate Student Researcher, University of Queensland, School of Medicine.

Stephanie’s summer project was to evaluate the usability of three different keyboards on an android tablet in a healthcare setting. (Research area: Interactive Clinical Design)

“Performing research on healthcare technology was an amazing experience. It not only expanded my views and knowledge of community health, but enabled me to explore the interaction between health, healthcare services and delivery, and biomedical technology. This has increased my appreciation for the devices used in medical settings and encourages me to look at improving usability of the different tools used in health care delivery. ”


Anna Gajewski, MPH (2013)

Current position: Research Program Manager, Emory University School of Medicine.

During her internship, Anna compared the short-term impact of influenza infection and other acute respiratory infections on workplace absenteeism (time away from work) and presenteeism (impairment while at work). (Research area: Epidemiology)

“The internship provided a high quality, practical experience with epidemiologic data and afforded me the opportunity to apply my SAS programming skills to real-world data.”


Sara Engler

Sara Engler, DDS (2011)

Current position: Dentist, Private Practice in Minnesota.

During her internship, Sara worked in the Interactive Clinical Design Institute. Her project focused on testing the functionalities and user interface of CattailsDental; developing user tasks of various complexities for the different roles within dentistry; and performing user testing utilizing eye tracking devices. (Research area: Oral and Systemic Health)

"My time at Marshfield Clinic truly changed my career path and most definitely helped me get to where I am today. I know it gave me a huge edge and advantage in the dental school application process and in being selected in a competitive student fellowship program. More than that, it inspired me in my future goals. I would not have found my passion for research without this program and Dr. Acharya."


Kelsey Schwei

Kelsey Schwei, PhD (2011)

Current position: Biomedical Informatics lecturer, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

During her internship, she worked to evaluate methods for structured data entry into the CattailsMD electronic medical record, with the goal to make information more easily accessible for use in clinical decision support and research. (Research area: Biomedical Informatics)

"The MCRF Summer Student Research Internship Program afforded me the opportunity to gain the necessary informatics skills that I needed to conduct research projects, while allowing me to apply concepts that I had learned about in my graduate schooling. It catapulted my career in informatics."