Hello Everyone! My name is Nandini Mandaloju and I am a rising senior majoring in Biology and Neuroscience. This summer, I got an incredible opportunity to continue working as a Senior Pediatric Epilepsy Clinical Research Intern at the Loddenkemper Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. I would like to thank the Hiatt Career Center for awarding me the Social Justice WOW Fellowship and the Loddenkemper Lab for supporting me throughout this internship!
One of the primary missions of the Loddenkemper Lab, led by Dr. Tobias Loddenkemper, is to prevent, predict, detect, and treat every seizure and status epilepticus in children before it occurs. The Loddenkemper lab uses machine learning and predictive algorithms to detect early warning signs of seizures through the Empatica Wristband. The Empatica Wristband is a revolutionary tool in medicine as it measures physiological data such as heart rate variability and electrodermal activity. We combine these seizure monitoring tools into our in-patient clinical studies to best develop epilepsy care in pediatric patients.
My day typically starts at 7:45 am, as I take the commuter rail to Longwood. One of my best friends, Hima, happens to take the same train and works nearby so we usually walk together to our labs and stop for coffee on the way! Upon reaching my lab, I usually like to spend a few minutes settling down before my morning huddles and lab meetings. Then, I train the incoming interns on the project that I worked on last summer. This project studies the effects of anti-seizure medications on the autonomic nervous system. I am currently working on another project that focuses on Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), where I analyze EEG reports and label different types of seizures. For these projects, I utilize databases such as PowerChart, and REDCap. Additionally, I learned how to utilize medical terminology, read EEGs, and recognize different types of seizures. I also accompany research fellows of the lab and enroll patients in clinical studies.
One thing I love about my lab is how they encourage their interns to learn more about their goals and broaden their knowledge and perspectives about medicine. I always make an effort to attend the Grand Round Lectures conducted by Harvard Medical School where doctors discuss important topics in medicine such as how to improve the care of children with limited English proficiency. I find it super inspiring to connect with physicians from the hospital and learn more about their perspectives on topics that aren’t often discussed through this lab. I also got an opportunity to shadow my primary investigator, Dr. Loddenkemper in the Outpatient clinic and In-Patient service, and learned how he interacts with pediatric patients with great enthusiasm, intelligence, and care. While at work, I also enjoy spending time exploring the hospital with my fellow interns through activities such as visiting the rooftop garden at Boston
Children’s Hospital and getting sweet treats such as lemonade and cupcakes. This internship has further solidified my interest to pursue a career in pediatric medicine and I am very excited to continue to build my skill set through this amazing journey!