Brody Andes: One Health Center Intern in Colombia

One Health Center intern Brody Andes in Medellín, Colombia

Brody Andes grew up in Madison and graduated from UW-Madison in May 2023 with degrees in Neurobiology and Spanish and plans to attend medical school. This summer, Brody interned at the Global Health Institute’s (GHI) One Health Center Genomics Laboratory in Medellín, Colombia alongside another UW-Madison student. This internship is part of the GHI One Health | Colombia collaboration between the UW-Madison and the Universidad National de Colombia.

What inspired your interest in Colombia?

As a lover of the Spanish language and how it can connect people who otherwise would never cross paths, participating in an internship in Latin America immediately sparked my interest. Once I learned that the One Health internship was related to medical science research and that the research group was doing such incredible work for Colombia and the field of emerging infectious diseases, I knew that I wanted to apply and take part. This intersection of Spanish immersion and laboratory research made this an extremely attractive opportunity.

How did the One Health internship fit into your academic and career plans?

The One Health internship fit uniquely into my academic and career plans since I am transitioning from undergraduate studies to medical school. During my undergraduate career, I participated in research for three years, and I loved that experience. One research lab experience is not equal to others, however. The distinct topics and lab techniques at One Health expanded my view and skills in medical microbiological sciences. Going forward, I am certain that the experience I gained in the One Health Lab will help me be a physician that considers consequences on the population level, not just the individual level.

“The experience I gained in the One Health Lab will help me be a physician that considers consequences on the population level, not just the individual level.”

What surprised or interested you about Colombian culture?

Brody and fellow UW intern Natalia Betancourt Rodriguez in the One Health Center lab

I was most surprised (in a pleasant way) by the depth and breadth of the gastronomy in Colombia. The number of fruits, desserts, variations of meat, soups, breads, rice, and juices is remarkable. Never did I expect such a diversity of options. Not only are there many options, but they are delicious. I am going to miss these dishes so much. Better than the food itself, though, is how the food brings people together. Friends in the One Health lab and even complete strangers that I came across were passionate about their culture’s food and were so excited to share it with me. Hearing the traditions associated with certain foods, what time of the year they are eaten, how they vary in different regions of the country, and where the best sites are in the city to enjoy them are all part of the beauty that is the gastronomy in Colombia.

This internship was developed specifically for UW undergraduates by the International Internship team at International Academic Programs, the central study abroad office at UW-Madison with scholarship funding from GHI. Visit the International Internship database to learn more about the One Health Center Summer Research Internship