Daniel Matasic Named CEIA 2010 Co-op Student of the Year
Dan is a senior in the Science B.S. / MBA program. This program integrates undergraduate science coursework with a two year business program. Dan’s focus has been in biochemistry and molecular biology. Dan completed three co-op rotations, two with GlaxoSmithKline, and one with the Fox Chase Cancer Center. He was also selected as the recipient of the Penn State 2010 Eberly College of Science Co-op Student of the Year Award.
Dan was nominated for this award by Dr. Kevin Thorneloe of GlaxoSmithKline, and the Penn State Science Career and International Education Office. He served as a co-op student in GlaxoSmithKline’s Biology – Heart Failure Drug Development Performance Unit during the Spring and Summer of 2010. Dan’s greatest achievement was spearheading the improvement of an in vivo pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic model to evaluate drug efficacy. He developed, validated and implemented the new procedure currently being used to assess potential candidates as heart failure therapeutics in the department. A publication based on his work is currently in preparation. Dan also contributed to work involving the testing of biomarkers to be used for preclinical and clinical drug assessment.
Dan also completed a summer 2009 co-op rotation with Fox Chase Cancer Center’s Medical Oncology Department under Dr. Martin Belinsky. Fox Chase Cancer Center is an independent nonprofit institution located in Philadelphia and committed exclusively to cancer treatment, research, and prevention. His work there involved DNA mutational analysis of genes with copy number aberrations in human gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs). GISTs have an occurrence of roughly 5,000 to 6,000 cases a year in the United States and are the most common mesenchymal cancer of the gastrointestinal tract.
At Penn State, Dan works as a research assistant in the laboratory of James Marden, professor of biology, assisting in studies involved with the gene expression traits of the Melitaea cinxia butterfly, a model species for ecology and evolution.
When not in class or at work, Dan volunteers at a local hospital in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, assisting patients who have undergone surgical procedures. He recently earned his certification as an Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B) and volunteers as an EMT for Penn State’s University Ambulance Service.
Dan will complete his undergraduate coursework this year and will enter the Smeal Business School MBA program in Fall 2011. After completion of his studies at Penn State, Dan hopes to enter medical school to pursue a career as a physician-scientist (MD/PhD).
Information about the Penn State Eberly College of Science Cooperative Education Program is available on the web at http://cie.science.psu.edu/