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Mike T

- Research Program Mentor

PhD at Tufts University


Virology, structural biology, biophysics


Hi, I'm Mike Thorsen! I grew up outside of Boston, MA and have been here ever since. Growing up, I always thought my science classes were the most interesting, so when starting college at Boston College I decided to major in biology. After college, I wanted to experience what is was like to be a scientist in a lab so I got a job as a technician sequencing DNA and RNA! After doing that for two years, I entered grad school at Tufts University where I switched things up and decided to investigate proteins. Specifically, I look at proteins made by herpespviruses and examine how they help the herpesvirus escape the host cell. In my free time, I enjoy staying active by riding my bike and walking around Boston as well as playing in basketball leagues. I also play quite a bit of video games. I want to get into mentoring so that I can help young people interested in science navigate their way through the sometimes daunting landscape. It certainly would have helped me figure out what I wanted to do a lot faster!

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Cellular determinants for viral entry

Viruses cannot replicate on their own, they do not have all the machinery that is required to make more of themselves. To replicate, viruses must gain entry into a host cell so that they can use cellular proteins to carry out their life cycle. While all viruses enter cells, they all differ in the way that the gain entry. In this project, we would look at a handful of viruses and examine how each one gains access to the cellular proteins needed for viral replication and compare and contrast their life cycles.

Teaching experience

I mentored high schoolers last summer who wanted to learn more about career paths in both medicine and science. I have also mentored a 5th grader covering a broad range of math topics throughout this past school year.


Work experience

Tufts University (2016 - 2022)
Graduate Student
Harvard Medical School (2014 - 2016)
Lab Technician
Tufts University (2022 - 2022)
Postdoctoral Scholar
Treeline Biosciences (2022 - Current)
Scientist, Structural Biology


Boston College
BS Bachelor of Science (2010)
Tufts University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Biology

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