Senior Praise Ola learns from top medical professionals during internship at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York

An aspiring doctor at Alcorn State University is making strides toward his dreams by participating in a research internship at one of the world's top medical schools.

Praise Ola, a chemistry major from Lagos, Nigeria, landed an internship at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. Ola is studying the cortical development of DDX3X syndrome in female mice. DDX3X syndrome is a recently identified genetic disorder that accounts for 1-3 percent of unexplained developmental delay and intellectual disability in females. The disease is also associated with motor and language delays and autism spectrum disorder.

The prestigious Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is a global leader with an acclaimed faculty and is top-ranked by leading organizations in research funding, innovation, and diversity. The school trains the physicians and scientists of tomorrow while conducting breakthrough research and providing multidisciplinary clinical care.

The experience has been great for Ola. The chemistry lover credits the internship for introducing him to seasoned professionals who provide advice on choosing a career path.

“This internship has been amazing,” said Ola. “The knowledge I have gained here, as well as the connections I have made, has provided informed direction to which path I should take in my field.”

Networking with these medical professionals has inspired Ola to pursue neuroscience as his career path. He’s intrigued by the brain’s functionality and wants to explore it more extensively.

“My career goal is to become a neurosurgeon, as well as a researcher in neuroscience. I want this even more after speaking with neurosurgeons here, who are inspiring me. I believe that there is so much room for discovery in the human brain, which is really exciting.”

Scientific research was introduced to Ola by his mentor Dr. Debarshi Roy, an assistant professor of biology at Alcorn. Ola appreciates Roy’s mentorship and credits it for his progress as a scientist.

“Training with Dr. Roy in his lab has helped shape me into a creative scientist. I am grateful and blessed because his mentorship has helped me, and I believe he will continue to help me for years to come.”

Interning at Icahn is giving Ola a blueprint for success. He’s grateful to soak up as much knowledge as possible.

The challenge of learning new research gives Ola an added appreciation for hard work. He’s confident that his experience is a precursor to his future endeavors.

“I have learned how challenging and exciting it can be to do research. I’ve also learned the amount of planning and knowledge required to conduct experiments. I have gained valuable lessons that cannot be overstated.”