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Joe DeCorte Shares His Research Experience in Dr. Rebecca Baron's Lab

Joe DeCorte

Joe DeCorte

Dr. Rebecca Baron’s Laboratory 

Boston, Massachusetts

For his summer experience, Honors student Joe DeCorte has been working in Dr. Rebecca Baron's laboratory in Boston. Dr. Baron is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and a Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine Intensivist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Through his research mentor, Dr. Samithamby Jeyaseelan, DeCorte was able to reach out to Dr. Baron for lab availability.

“From there, Dr. Baron and I worked to create a summer training experience tailored to my specific career goals, in which I shadow physicians and attend grand rounds in addition to my lab work,” DeCorte explained.

According to DeCorte, this experience has helped inform his research and career objectives, as well as his opinions about healthcare in America.

View from Lab

“I am having an amazing time researching in Boston and exploring the city,” he added.

DeCorte works closely with physician scientists who use their clinical experience to motivate their research, in hopes of producing innovative cures for the complex cases they see in the ICU. He is currently investigating the role microRNA-181b – a member of an exciting, newly discovered class of regulatory molecules – has in rescuing patients with sepsis.

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition in which bacterial dissemination into the bloodstream induces multi-organ failure, and the infection's severity and complexity present a significant challenge in critical-care medicine.

Harvard Medical School

“What attracted me to this project was the immediate impact that its success could have on saving patients' lives: Dr. Baron has a firm commitment to translating the lab's basic science findings into clinical trials, and the potential to turn the tide against sepsis

within my lifetime is what motivates me to spend long hours at the bench (nearly) every day,” he said.

According to DeCorte, he has also enjoyed the cultural exchange through the experience.

“We have two doctors from Colombia, and we frequently exchange words and recipes from our respective homes – a "Santandereana" for a "Laissez les bon temps rouler!", a "pan de yuca" for a "poboy." They are also inspiringly passionate about their work and about saving lives.”

When he is not in the lab, DeCorte spends his time exploring Bostonian neighborhoods and catching a Red Sox game or two. He even took a weekend trip to New York City with his roommate.

Harvard Medical School

“Not that Louisiana summers aren't great for hanging out with some friends and some crawfish, but escaping the heat for a few months has been a blessing,” he said, laughing.