August 18, 2022

Tauber Family Student Interns Class of 2022

Meet two of the 2022 alumni from the successful mentoring program established by Joel and Shelley Tauber.

The Tauber Family Student Internship was established by Joel and Shelley Tauber in 2013, inspired by the educational journey of their granddaughter, who is now a resident in pediatrics.

This salaried 10-week program gives undergraduate students the ability to dip their toes in and experience cutting-edge research.  Their work led to 40 citations and 26 publications in 21 different academic journals.  Many of the alumni have gone on to successful careers in graduate school, medical school, and other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers.

The Tauber Family Student Interns class of 2022 included Adam Allouch, Katharina Kretzler, Jackson McGrath and Victoria Villanueva Guzman.  We sat down with two of the 2022 alumni to learn about their experiences.

Katharina Kretzler

First-year Med/Ph.D. Student (this fall)
University of Freiburg, Germany

Where are you from?
I was born in Munich, Germany, and moved with my family to Ann Arbor when I was five.

What did you do in the NeuroNetwork lab?
My first time as a Tauber Intern was after my sophomore year of high school, then, during college. Both times involved diabetic neuropathy. For my honors thesis, I looked at how different dietary interventions affect diabetic neuropathy and diabetic nephropathy.

How did the internship impact you?
As a Tauber Intern, my eyes were opened to the world of research at a young age. Through the support of the Tauber Internship and Dr. Feldman, I got my first experiences at the lab bench and contributed to research. I cherished the chance to have hands-on applications of the laboratory techniques I was learning in my classes and study molecules under the microscope I read about in my textbooks. It was also impactful to get to know high-achieving women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and form a personal relationship with many members of the team.

Adam Allouch

Sophomore (newly declared neuroscience major)
University of Michigan

Where are you from?
I am originally from Lebanon and I was raised in Dearborn, Michigan.

Why did you become a Tauber Family Intern?
I’m fixated on understanding the “how and why” of everything I encounter. We don’t have many answers to the brain, so I couldn’t help but be completely enthralled by the idea of helping to solve some of these puzzles. Also, since obesity and diabetes have become so prevalent, understanding the interactions between metabolic dysfunction and cognitive health pique my interest.

What is the most interesting experience you have had to date?
It would be floating tissue immunohistochemistry of mouse brains, which produces a 3-dimensional image of microglia, resident immune cells of the brain, and provides massive amounts of information.

How has the Tauber Family Student Internship impacted you?
I’ve grown a great deal and I hope to continue to build on the wide range of skills I’ve learned as I start the first steps of developing my independent project. The idea of following in the footsteps of the researchers and leading my own scientific inquiry really excites me and serves as a long-term goal for the future.

I’m especially thankful to Dr. Sarah Elzinga, who always takes the time to explain, discuss, and teach. I will be forever grateful for her commitment to my development and growth. It’s truly a privilege to have her as a mentor!

“Tauber Family Interns, like Adam, help us move critical research forward and are a great way to teach the next generation of scientists the basic fundamentals of translational research.”

— Sarah Elzinga, Ph.D., Edith Briskin Emerging Scholar