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Student Researches How to Heal Wounds by Regenerating Human Tissue

A man at a conference holds up his award.
Omid Mohammad Mousa at the 2018 Idaho INBRE Conference.

For one Boise State student, a summer job meant fascinating and important research on attempting to heal human wounds by regenerating human tissue. Omid Mohammad Mousa, a Boise State University senior majoring in microbiology and biochemistry spent 10 weeks last summer interning with the medical research company Burst Biologics.

“During my internship with Burst Biologics I was looking at regenerative potential of birth tissue derived products,” Omid explained. “Chronic wounds present a challenge to the medical community and birth tissue-derived products can supplement or replace traditional treatment options.”

Using human bone marrow taken from Mesenchymal stem cells (hBM-MSCs), Omid was tasked with studying crucial wound-healing steps such as cellular proliferation and migration, and cell-to-cell communication and differentiation.

“This internship allowed me to explore an area of science that I didn’t have the chance to explore by myself,” Omid said. “It allowed me to grow academically, and the skills that I gained from the internship are already paying off. I will be starting to work with Dr. Shin Pu of Bimolecular Research Center on a project that is very similar to one of my projects at Burst Biologics.”

Omid stated that in addition to working on a host of new experiments at Burst Biologics, he was able to learn new research techniques and data analysis, and get first-hand experience on how to write, compile and submit a manuscript for publication.

“The industry internship is a great experience for any undergraduate to pursue and I would like to encourage other local companies to participate in this amazing program and tap into this enormous pool of bright and talented students that Boise State has to offer,” he said. “When I do apply for graduate school I can cite my internship as how I can thrive and succeed in a new setting or academic field.”

The Burst Biologics summer internship was coordinated through Boise State and supported by an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Omid was the first student from Boise State’s Biomolecular Research Center to be placed in an industry internship. Prior to interning at Burst Biologics, Omid worked in two labs at Boise State, where he studied protein purification and enzymatic synthesis.

“For last two years I have been working in research laboratories of Dr. Juliette Tinker in Biological Science Department and Dr. Rajesh Nagarajan in Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and that experience allowed me to be considered for this industry internship,” Omid said. “I would like to thank both of them for giving me the opportunity to be part of their research team and for their continuous support and mentorship.

“I would also like to thank the entire Burst Biologics team for being warm and welcoming and especially Dr. Soumyajit Banerjee, Dr. Neha Misra and Dr. Mukta Sane of the research and development team. And without hard work of Barb Jibben and Tracy Yarnell, the INBRE industry internship would have been impossible,” he added.