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Dr. Jonathan Lifshitz.

Laboratory Principal Investigator


UofA Translational Neurotrama Research Department
325 ABC-1 Building, UA Downtown
Phoenix, Az 85016

Dear Dr. Lifshitz,


Hello, my name is David Romero and I am contacting you in hopes of attaining an internship
position at your research facilities. I am a senior attending Bioscience High School, where I have
taken specialized courses with an emphasis on the biomedical sciences which include biology,
chemistry, anatomy and physiology as well as epidemiology. Although still in high school, I have
extensive experience in a professional laboratory setting. Over this past summer I worked in Dr.
Todd Vanderah's lab in the UofAs College of Medicine: Department of Pharmacology for 40
hours a week for 7 weeks. There were a variety of undergraduate and graduate students working
in the lab, conducting different research projects, who acted as my mentors.
I worked most exclusively with a student named Warren Wang, in which we investigated
whether the trafficking the of the voltage gated calcium channel, CaV2.2, via CRMP2 peptide
aptamer attenuates post-operative pain. After being treated with the CRMP2 peptide, I assisted
with conducting behavioral testing with regards to gathering data on post operative paw
withdraw latency on rats in response to thermal hypersensitivity through the use of the plantar
test. Data on the rats' paw withdraw latency in response to mechanical pressure was also gathered
after being treated through the use of the Von Frey test. It was ultimately concluded that
trafficking via the CRMP2 peptide significantly reverses mechanical and thermal
hypersensitivity experienced by rats for up to an hour after undergoing a paw incision surgery.
This is because the CRMP2 peptide reduces the surface expression of the CaV2.2 ion channel,
which reduces the amount of Ca ions able to enter the axon of a synaptic neuron, preventing the
release of vesicles carrying neurotransmitters to the synaptic cleft, effectively inhibiting them
from reaching a receiving dendrite from a post synaptic neuron. When synaptic transmission is
disrupted in this fashion, nerves are unable to transmit pain signals to the brain causing them not
to be registered.
Along with this, I gained exposure and bore witness to other surgery procedures conducted in the
lab, and assisted with a variety of other tasks. I am familiar with the steps of an arthrotomy
surgery procedure in which mice and rats are inoculated with cancer cells in their femur bones
for the purpose conducting research on cancer induced bone pain. I have insight on the insertion
of catheters in mice and rats, I have conducted cardiac puncture blood collections on mice,
assisted with whole mice perfusion fixation procedures, and have harvested femurs inoculated

with cancer cells for further study. I also conducted behavioral testing on mice and rats through
the use of the Plantar, Von Frey, and Rotarod Tests. On a regular basis I prepped mice and rats for
surgery by administering ketamine via subcutaneous or intraperitoneal syringe injections to put
them under anesthesia.
I have provided the contact information of Dr. Todd Vanderah, Warren Wang, and Brittany Forte,
another undergraduate student working in the lab who I was trained by and assisted regularly, if
you wish to ask any questions of them as well.
Dr. Todd Vanderah.
email: vanderah@email.arizona.edu
Warren Wang.
email: yuewan@email.arizona.edu
telephone number: (***) ***-2039
Brittany Forte
email: bforte2012@email.arizona.edu
telephone number: (***) ***-7397
I have attached my resume which will provide additional details regarding my background and
qualifications. I welcome the opportunity to speak to you in person to further discuss any finer
details regarding my previous lab experiences or we may continue to converse through email.
Thank you,
David Romero