Stearns making impact off the pitch
Gibault Catholic High School graduate Adam Stearns is a member of the men’s soccer team at Dominican University near Chicago, which he said has helped with his experience this summer as a research intern at Cour Pharmaceuticals Development Company in Northbrook.
“I am responsible to help in the protein lab, which is currently working on making four proteins to make a drug that has the potential to cure Type 1 Diabetes,” Stearns said in an interview on the university’s website. “In the protein lab, I will use techniques like gel electrophoresis, which indicates if we have synthesized the correct protein, bacterial transformation, which is a process in which we have bacteria (E.coli) take up genetic material and that will replicate so we can have more copies and a way to synthesize the protein, and giga/maxi preps, which is a process in which we use to take the plasmids from the bacteria that contain the targeted genetic material so we can synthesize the necessary proteins.”
Stearns said that since the lab is a highly collaborative and team-based environment, being a student-athlete has helped by challenging him to hone his communication skills, his ability to juggle many tasks at once and to work productively in a team.
“Being a part of the men’s soccer program at Dominican has taught me the importance of discipline, which is critical in the lab since many of the procedures we use are highly specific and technical, requiring a lot of attention to detail and communication to be able to successfully carry out experiments,” Stearns said.
Stearns said he aspires to enter graduate school after his time at Dominican and pursue a PhD.
“While I am not entirely sure what field I want to get my PhD in, this internship is giving me a first-hand look into the exciting real-world application of immunology, microbiology, molecular biology and pharmaceutical sciences,” Stearns said.
Stearns, a senior-to-be, played in seven games last season on defense for the Dominican soccer squad.