Medical research opportunities abound for Devin Wigler '09

Devin Wigler’s interest in oncology began when she volunteered at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston during Short Term. She worked in the Cancer Resource Center, providing literature to patients and their families.

“I wanted to explore the possibility of a career in oncology,” Wigler said, “so I applied to the undergraduate clinical research program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York City. For ten weeks I was involved in metastatic prostate cancer research at one of the oldest and largest cancer research facilities in the world. I wrote portions of a research article manuscript on the use of the Bone Scan Index for determining cancer progression and predicting overall survival. I also assembled and managed a PET scan database comparing different imaging procedures for detecting disease. I spent two weeks doing inpatient rounds, which was a very enlightening experience.”

A Ladd Internship through the Bates Office of Career Services provided the funds that allowed her to live in New York City. A Scher Fellowship further offset her costs.

“I learned so much about the biology of cancer, but as a psychology major and pre-med student, I’m also interested in its psychological impact,” Wigler said. “That’s where my internship ties into my senior thesis: I’m analyzing data regarding distress levels and psychosocial needs of newly diagnosed cancer patients for the Patrick Dempsey Center at Central Maine Medical Center. I’ve found it very convenient that Bates is so close to two hospitals – Central Maine and St. Mary’s!

“The opportunity to do undergraduate research is awesome. It should give me a leg up when I apply to medical school, but it also inspired me to engage in clinical research for a few years first.”

— Virginia Wright

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