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TWU nursing student researching Ebola as part of NIH summer internship


Michaela Cortes
Photo Credit: Shannon Drawe

DENTON/DALLAS — Texas Woman’s University nursing student Michaela Cortes, a TWU Honors Scholar from Dallas, is researching the Ebola virus this summer as one of only five nursing students in the country selected for a research internship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Cortes was selected from an application pool of more than 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students for the NIH’s Intramural Research Training Award program. She is spending the summer observing and participating in biomedical research at the NIH Clinical Center, working alongside some of the nation’s top researchers working on the treatment and prevention of the Ebola virus.

“I have been following the Ebola outbreak since last year, and my microbiology professor even nicknamed me ‘Ebola fan girl,’” Cortes said. “I think we all saw the important role nurses played in Ebola with the cases in Dallas last year. As a nursing student, for me to be able to be work with the top experts in the United States who are research and treating Ebola is an invaluable experience.”

Cortes eventually wants to get a doctorate in nursing and to make research part of her nursing career.

As an intern, Cortes will participate in a wide range of activities including observing clinical research nursing and interdisciplinary teams, rounds and lectures with investigators, career and professional development workshops, mentorship in a research project and development of a research poster she will present at the Summer Poster Day.

The Intramural Research Training Award programs at the NIH provide interns an opportunity to spend a summer working at the NIH Clinical Center in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research. Interns also have the opportunity to work in other departments in the NIH, such as the National Cancer Institute and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The NIH, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world and funds thousands of scientists in universities and research institutions in every state across America and around the globe. For more information, visit

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Amanda Simpson
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page updated 5/9/2016 4:57 PM