Madeline Tanner interview

Interning at Eli Lilly

As an intern, Madeline saw many sides of the organization as she spent more time at Eli Lilly over the course of the summer. “I worked in an in-between organization there, between discovery and development,” she says, and her experiences in the lab there reaffirmed her love for the hands-on nature of biotech sciences and convinced her that this was the right industry to start her career in.

“I got to work with my hands a lot, which was something I really enjoyed,” she said. “I really love bench work.”

She worked on antibody discovery and development while there, and was excited about the opening of the company’s Institute for Genetic Medicine. This area interested her because her current research in the College focuses on the CRISPR-Cas system, an adaptive immune system that prevents infection by phages, viruses, and other genetic elements. Madeline conducts this research under Associate Professor Julia van Kessel in the Department of Biology, in the van Kessel Lab.

“Eli Lilly is part of the pharmaceutical industry,” Madeline said, “but seeing that they had antibody development and genetic medicine was really cool to me.”

Her experiences in the College of Arts and Sciences have given Madeline the tools she needs to carve out the best path forward for herself: “All the learning I’ve done here offers me a huge background for what I want to do in the future. The College is everything for me, basically. All the classes I’ve taken, even those that aren’t science related, have been in the College and I think it made me a really well-rounded person.”

Madeline plans to continue her education and hopes to obtain a Ph.D. before pursuing a career in the biotherapeutics or pharmaceutical industries.