IIP Placements in Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Studies
Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (ASCR): Institute of Nanobiology and Structural Biology, Department of Structure and Function of Proteins
Location: Nové Hrady, Czech Republic
The Laboratory of Structural Biology was founded in 2002 as a joint laboratory of the Institute of Systems Biology and Ecology of the Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Physical Biology of the University of South Bohemia named Laboratory of High Performance Computing. The laboratory today combines methods ranging from computational and spectroscopic to molecular biological and biochemical--and, in collaboration with the Kuta Smatanova, lab protein crystallization. With its focus on molecular systems biology, the relationship between structure and function of proteins, dynamic changes related to functional processes on the level of proteins, and the mutual interaction of co-factors and subunits in protein complexes, the laboratory is an integral part of the new research concept of the Institute. IIP interns will be introduced to the computational methods for building and investigation of biological systems and will be able to analyze dynamical changes in systems and learn how to interpret generated data. IIP interns will use special software for modeling biological systems and carrying out molecular dynamics simulations, partly using massive parallel calculations on a beowulf-computer cluster. The underlying experimental basis of all structural information comes from protein crystallography done in house. After getting intense training during the first weeks, IIP interns will each be responsible for a sub-project that leads to a clear outcome/prediction that can be experimentally verified. Possible sub-projects include a computational project and an experimental project. The IIP interns may also have the opportunity to participate in a symposium on Structure Systems Biology in Bratislava, Slovakia, and/or the opportunity to visit biomedical institutes of the Academy of Sciences in Prague. Each IIP intern will be assigned to one of the following two projects:
- Computational Project: Modeling interactions in and between biomolecules and complex biologically relevant systems. The intern will mainly work with computational tools on data, that are produced in house. The IIP intern will get insight into how experimental data, such as X-ray structures, are generated and will collaborate directly with the scientists working in that area.
- Experimental Project: The experimental basis for modeling interactions in and between biomolecules and complex biologically relevant systems for the restriction modification system EcoR124I. The IIP intern will not repeat something somebody has done already, but would use a unique mutant that should alter the functionality of either the DNA translocation or the endonuclease activity. The project would involve: 1) Polymerase chain reaction using primers that would introduce the mutation, amplification of the DNA; 2) Growing of e.coli cells used later for over-expression; 3) Over-expression of protein in e.coli cells; 4) French pressing the cells to disrupt them; 5) isolation of protein from the crude extract using gel filtration and affinity and ion exchange chromatography; 6) Malachite green assay to monitor ATPase activity of your protein; 7) In vitro assay of DNA cleavage; 8) Limited proteoplysis. In nearly all steps SDS-phage electrophoresis is used to monitor either the successful amplification, the over-expression, the protein purity or the fragments after cleavage. In parallel the theoretical work would include: 1) Generation of a homology model of point mutation, 2) Docking of ATP into the system, 3) Molecular dynamics simulation of the system in simple-point water, and 4) calculation of the ATP binding energy.
Applicants should have academic interest in life sciences, an understanding of biologically relevant systems and how they can be understood by computational modeling, a good background in physics and mathematics;, and a good relation to computers as a scientific tool. General UNIX knowledge is welcome, but no programming is required. Two placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Intern 1: Learning basic Unix commands; Learning a number of types of simulation software (VMD, GROMACS, YASARA, PYMOL) ; Studying the model system of interest ; Performing the necessary modifications to the structures; Determining what sort of simulations to run and how to vary system parameters; Analyzing simulation results; Learning to use various tools to complement the analysis. Intern 2: Worked on project focused on determining the structure and function of HsdR's C-terminal domain.
Location: Singapore, Singapore
IMB is an institute in the biomedical sciences cluster of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR). It started operating in 2007 with a coalescence of research programs from the Centre for Molecular Medicine and the laboratories of the Singapore Stem Cell Consortium. It has been joined by groups from top institutions in Singapore and the U.S. and from the biotechnology industry. The overarching goal of the lab in which IIP interns would be placed is to develop efficient protocols that convert pluripotential hESCs into functional beta cells. If produced in bulk and in a clinically-compliant fashion, these cells could provide an inexhaustible supply of material for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. The lab focuses on three general questions: (1) how to produce bona fide DE from hESC; (2) how to assign pancreatic fate to this progenitor population; and (3) how to specifically direct the progressive specification of early pancreatic cells toward the mature beta cell fate. Manpower is apportioned equally among these aims, and successful IIP interns will be paired with a senior member of the lab to pursue one of these fast-moving projects. Applicants should have competency in basic molecular biology and a keen interest in biomedical research. One placement has been created for an International Internship Program (IIP) intern. This internship is offered in partnership with the Program in Global Health and Health Policy and can be used by GHP juniors for completion of the GHP Summer Research Requirement (please check the appropriate box on your application).
Additional background information on the project: A renewable supply of pancreatic beta cells would be invaluable for treating type 1 diabetes. However, despite considerable effort, it is not yet possible to generate functional beta cells from human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC) in vitro. Interestingly, experiments conducted in mice demonstrate that interactions with the surrounding mesenchyme and endothelium orchestrate pancreatic development. The proposed project seeks to identify signals secreted by these tissues and determine how they affect beta cell development. Specifically, microtissues will be generated from different cell types and used to study the interactions between them. The first component of the project involves culturing and differentiating different cell types for inclusion in 3D microtissues. Microtissues will then be treated with inhibitors of signal transduction to determine the dynamics of cell-cell signaling during lineage commitment. The identity and behavior of different cell types will be determined by a combination of gene expression and immunofluorescence analysis and live cell imaging. The IIP intern will have the opportunity to learn a broad range of techniques selected from the following, depending on the placement duration and their interests: hESC differentiation, 3D microtissue generation, gene expression analysis, immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy/live cell imaging and R/Python programming for quantitative data analysis.
Locations: Beijing, China; Turrialba, Costa Rica; Montpelier, France/Kampala, Uganda; Rome, Italy; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Pokhara, Nepal
Bioversity International undertakes, encourages, and supports research and other activities on the use and conservation of agricultural biodiversity, especially genetic resources, to create more productive, resilient, and sustainable harvests. Its aim is to promote the greater well-being of people, particularly poor people in developing countries, by helping them to achieve food security, improve their health and nutrition, boost their incomes, and conserve the natural resources on which they depend. The organization is active in over 100 countries worldwide, with more than 300 staff working from some 20 country offices. It is one of the 15 centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Bioversity’s headquarters are located just outside Rome, Italy, in Maccarese. Bioversity staff includes specialists in agriculture, forestry, information science and technology, socioeconomics, law and policy, finance and administration. Through the IIP internship program, Bioversity offers invaluable on-the-job training under the guidance of established experts in genetic resources, communications, and policy and law practices that encourage the production of public goods. IIP interns will be assigned to research projects and will learn to work as part of a project team and will gain a broad understanding of issues in international agricultural research for development, in particular regarding sustainable conservation and use of agricultural biodiversity for food and agriculture. IIP interns will typically gain experience in carrying out desk studies, literature searching, compilation and analysis of information, database work, and writing reports, papers, and public awareness materials.See listings in Placements by Region for specific descriptions of internships at the various locations.
Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), formerly Caribbean Environmental Health Institute
Location: Castries, St. Lucia
CARPHA--at present in formation stage--is a single public health agency for the Caribbean that will integrate the functions and administration of the existing five Caribbean Regional Health Institutions, the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre, the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute, the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute, the Caribbean Regional Drug Testing Laboratory, and the Caribbean Health Research Council. The proposed agency will rationalize the functions of the current Regional Health Institutions and have a more comprehensive mandate in addressing the public health needs of the wider Caribbean Region. CARPHA has a mandate to identify cost effective solutions to environmental health problems in the 16 Member States. The Environmental Health/Environmental Management Unit in St. Lucia is equipped with a full service analytical laboratory providing capacity for a number of testing procedures. In addition, CARPHA is actively involved in a number of environmentally related issues, such as fresh water resources, biomedical waste and environmental surveillance capacity building. In 2014, CARPHA St. Lucia is looking for IIP candidatess with laboratory and website/communications experience to assist in field and laboratory analyses; and promoting and sharing the technical information generated by the organization. An appreciation of environmental issues through coursework and other experience would be useful. Two placements have been established for International Internship Program (IIP) interns. Here are the details of each placement:
- Communications placement: The IIP intern will assist the CARPHA team in the promotion of environmental and environmental health issues relevant to the Caribbean. Initiatives will target various groups and organizations on a regional, country, local and community level, and will be aimed at advancing environment and environmental health practices and procedures. As directed by the Marketing and Communications Assistant responsible for Information Management, this IIP intern will be expected to: assist in the on-going development and implementation of CARPHA’s public awareness and education programs aimed at the improvement of environment and environmental health in the region; participate in the preparation of the Institute’s promotional material and informational products; assist in production of the Institute's newsletter, prepare news releases and news articles/features; participate in the preparation of environmental and environmental health educational material, including audio/visual feature; assist in updating the Institute Web site to act as an on-line source for environmental and environmental health information on the Caribbean; and perform related duties as required. IIP candidates with an academic background and/or work experience in environmental and environmental health issues, excellent communication skills and cross-cultural understanding, advanced knowledge of publishing software, self-motivation, flexibility and adaptability and who are comfortable delivering public presentations are encouraged to apply.
- Laboratory Team placement: The IIP intern will assist the laboratory team at CARPHA with implementation of in-field sample collection processes and provision of effective environmental related laboratory services. Best practices in relevant laboratory procedures will be analyzed and potential application opportunities will be identified. As directed by the Laboratory Manager, the IIP intern will be expected to: actively plan and implement in-field sample collection activities; actively participate in various laboratory procedures respecting good laboratory practices; observe and implement quality management systems; plan, develop and implement analytical techniques using various equipment; present best practices and analyze potential applicability in St. Lucia; and perform related duties as required. IIP candidates with an academic background and/or work experience in environmental health issues and laboratory equipment and procedures, academic background in environmental health and laboratory techniques, excellent communication skills and cross-cultural understanding, self-motivation, flexibility and adaptability and who are comfortable delivering public presentations are encouraged to apply.
This internship is offered in partnership with the Program in Global Health and Health Policy and can be used by GHP juniors for completion of the GHP Summer Research Requirement (please check the appropriate box on your application). View a Powerpoint presentation (.pdf) by a past intern.
Center for Structural Biochemistry, University of Montpellier
Location: Montpelier, France
The general objective of the Center for Structural Biochemistry (CBS) is to carry out research at the forefront of structural biology and biophysics as a means to reveal the fundamental physical mechanisms underlying biological activity and its regulation and, where possible, to exploit this knowledge in the conception of new therapeutic strategies in human health and disease. The selected IIP intern will be involved in one of the various research themes developed in the lab. One placement has been created for an International Internship Program (IIP) intern.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): My supervisor was working on a project to cure Hepatitis C. He already had the basic idea of what kind of molecule he needed for the project, so two people pursuing a masters in chemistry and I worked together to produce molecules. Because there were only two hoods and because some steps of the reactions would need to go for a long time, some days were very busy while others were much slower. Much of the chemistry was similar to what students do in labs in Princeton classes: turning carboxylic acids into esters, creating urea, turning esters back into carboxylic acids and adding amines. However, the chemicals were more powerful and the molecules themselves were much bigger and more complex.
Council of Scientific Institutional Research (CSIR)
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
The CSIR is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development, and implementation organizations in Africa. Constituted by an Act of Parliament in 1945 as a science council, the CSIR undertakes directed and multidisciplinary research, technological innovation, and industrial and scientific development to improve the quality of life of the country’s people. The organization is committed to supporting innovation in South Africa to improve national competitiveness in the global economy. Science and technology services and solutions are provided in support of various stakeholders, and opportunities are identified where new technologies can be further developed and exploited in the private and public sectors for commercial and social benefit. Four placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns. Two IIP placements are with the Earth Observation Research Group.
- The Earth Observation Research Group is a leading group that researches remote sensing of the environment in South Africa. Its core mission is to: 1) develop new remote sensing-based products and applications combining existing and new sensor technologies and in situ data in a novel manner; 2) integrate the new generated knowledge in monitoring systems for the improved use of natural resources and decision-making processes. The research uses LiDAR, SAR, and optical systems at various scales to map tree structure, biodiversity, vegetation productivity, nutrient content, water cycle and develop models to improve understanding of spatio-temporal dynamics of ecosystem services. This IIP placement provides IIP interns with the opportunity to conduct research on remote sensing in South African landscapes.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Researched the effect of atmospheric turbulence on optical systems such as orbital angular momentum carrying Laguerre-Gauss beams and Long Distance Bessel Like Beams using a Spinning Pipe Gas Lens. Presented findings at the 2012 IONS-Africa student conference and published results in the Journal of Optics.
École Polytechnique (Research in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Mechanics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science, Economics)
Location: Palaiseau, France (near Paris)
École Polytechnique is a state-run institution of higher education and research, renowned for its Ingénieur Polytechnicien (polytechnic engineer) program. Established during the French Revolution in 1794, Polytechnique became a military school under Napoleon in 1804. It relinquished this status to become a public educational establishment in 1970, though it is still overseen by the Ministry of Defense. It is a founding member of the ParisTech grouping of leading Paris-area engineering schools, established in 2007. Students can apply for a research internship in any research group within one of the 22 laboratories at École Polytechnique (you may also want to peruse the internship subjects within the research groups). Two placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns. French is not required. Do not fill out the application on the École Polytechnique website. If you are applying for this placement, put École Polytechnique on the IIP Placement application as your first or second choice and then indicate your top three choices of research groups in the "additional information or comments" section of the IIP Placement application. In your personal statement, be sure to clearly indicate why you are interested in these research groups and why you are qualified to work on such projects.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Before the internship, I did background readings on analytic combinatorics and on my supervisor's research, which involves word combinatorics and pattern searching, with applications in genomics. I used Java to implement two automata designed by my supervisor as well as a user interface for making relevant calculations using these automata, which supported my supervisor's theoretical results. We then wrote a paper about our results and submitted it to a conference.
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations
Location: Rome, Italy
Based in Rome, Italy, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information. They help developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry, and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. In previous years, IIP interns have interned in the Fisheries and Aquaculture section and the Economic and Social section where they have worked on projects related to post-harvest practices and trade, price domain statistics, and topics related to structural adjustment and management of fishing capacity. Placements for summer 2012 include the Statistics Division. IIP candidates with a background or interests in economics and statistics, policy, natural resource management, and sustainable development are encouraged to apply. Working knowledge of French or Spanish would be an asset as would prior experience with agricultural, environmental, or related statistics. Four placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Intern 1: Organized side events for the 38th FAO Conference, where representatives from 191 member countries attended; Composed a 50-page handbook on “Setting Up and Running a Co-management Body in Vietnam,” which will be distributed to Vietnamese fishermen to guide them on how to better manage their fish landing sites with local governments; Initiated revisions on the proposal of World Bank's $10M project on "Securing Biodiversity in China's Dongting Lake Protected Areas"; Translated official documents on illegal fishing from English to Chinese. Intern 2: Update a country-specific index of fisheries, which a previous intern had made. For example, this meant reading all of the published country reports (and in-process reports) for how much they included fisheries, and other social indicators Intern 3: Develop programs to systematically reformat, analyze and incorporate data from different UN databases into the FAO STAT Database in Pesticides. Develop programs to systematically process questionnaires from member countries. Analyze past data. Intern 4: Cleaning data sets, generating new variables using STATA to find insight about small family farms. / Compiling data from FAO publications, country agricultural surveys and World Bank public expenditure reviews to create charts, graphs and media for use in the main body of the text and the statistical annex.
Location: San Salvador, El Salvador
Foundation Cristosal is a not-for-profit organization implementing a human rights approach to development assistance. This approach recognizes the poor as subjects of rights rather than beneficiaries of good will and defines the goal of poverty reduction in terms of a global obligation rather than a charitable cause. Foundation Cristosal's strategy is to combine efforts to build citizenry, defend rights, and advocate for justice with projects of brick and mortar. The goal is to work with communities to build capacities that will enable them to organize, exercise their rights as citizens, and speak out as actors in their own processes of development. IIP placements are available in small business training and development, water system management, and website and graphic design.
- Small Business Training and Development: This IIP intern will support Cristosal’s Community Development Program in developing education material and trainings in small business management and planning. He/she will work with families and small cooperatives to develop, plan, and improve their business model and profitability. The IIP Intern will also participate in their disaster recovery program to develop micro-loan management skills. Responsibilities may include planning and execution of entrepreneurship workshops; market studies of local and international markets for goods produced in and/or by the communities; and elaboration of business plans for small businesses and/or cooperatives.
- Water System Management: This IIP intern will work with Cristosal staff and coordinate with other governmental and non- government organizations in the planning of a small scale irrigation system using ram-pump technology, as well as capacity building for system installation and maintenance. Specific responsibilities may include planning and execution of water system management and sustainability workshops, studies of local water capacities and pump systems as well as regional water resource management and conservation and the elaboration of irrigation system plans for a rural community and small cooperatives.
- Website and Graphic Design: This IIP intern will be a key element in facilitating Cristosal’s communications development process. The IIP intern will contribute graphic design capabilities and help update and maintain content on the Cristosal website. He/she will work with Cristosal staff to improve the website’s overall design and functionality to better meet the communication and information needs of the organization and its supporters. Possible responsibilities include conducting an aesthetic and functional analysis/critique of Cristosal’s website, consulting both Cristosal’s Executive Associate and Business Consultant on communication system possibilities for the website and related materials, management of Cristosal’s website and print and audio/visual materials, and the presentation of website design, development, and maintenance tutorials to Cristosal staff.
Four placements have been established for International Internship Program (IIP) interns. One more posting will be added to the website soon, for the final IIP placement.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Intern 1: This summer I worked with Foundation Cristosal to write white papers on all of their projects. To accomplish this task I had to conduct research and analyze the data collected. I interviewed representatives of government institutions, NGOs and university professors. I also attended meetings with community leaders and municipal governments. I also helped come up with an investment strategy for one of their projects, El Carmen Chicken Company. I looked at the advantages and disadvantages of having a conservative, moderate aggressive or aggressive strategy. Intern 2: Wrote, conducted and analyzed three studies, two preliminary operational budgets and two project proposals assessing the feasibility, cost and predicted benefits of initiatives to increase the economic independence of two partner communities; Developed and produced two informational videos about the organization (in English with subtitles for Spanish audio); Distributed videos across various social networking platforms (Youtube and Facebook). All written work done in Spanish. Also attended and presented at weekly team meetings. If interested, below are links to the videos I worked on as a Cristosal intern: About Cristosal Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWNu33nO64I; Development Approach Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWNu33nO64I
Geodynamics Group, Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University (ANU)
Location: Canberra, Australia
The research of the Geodynamics Group at the Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University, is focused on using space-based observations to study changes on Earth. With strong backgrounds in geodesy, the researchers in the group are studying a wide range of topics including crustal deformation (tectonic drift, earthquakes), glacial isostatic adjustment as well as climate-related topics such as sea level rise and melting of polar ice sheets. Space-geodetic missions such as satellite altimeters (Jason-2, Envisat, IceSAT), space gravity (GRACE) and positioning systems (e.g. GPS) provide the observations for these studies. The research involves generating numerical models and processing the data such that estimates of these geophysical signals can be made. We know that Antarctica and Greenland are melting because of the satellite altimetry and GRACE missions, we know the global pattern of sea level rise only because of the satellite altimetry missions. The IIP intern will work as part of a team to study some aspect of changes on Earth using space-geodetic observations. There are many possible projects from which to choose: improving the modelling of satellite orbits, estimating changes in groundwater aquifers, quantifying crustal strain across continents and/or known active fault zones, deriving estimates of regional sea level rise, measuring actual melting rates of polar regions. Possible responsibilities may include developing software to model satellite orbits, processing actual satellite observations to derive estimates of geophysical processes on Earth, developing and assessing different types of models for certain processes. The work is computationally intensive and the IIP intern could be involved in writing software, processing data, deriving estimates, interpreting and evaluating the results. Previous IIP interns have worked on projects that have been submitted for publication with the intern as a co-author. Strengths in maths/physics are essential for this IIP internship. Three placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns.
Immunization Technical Support Unit (ITSU), Public Health Foundation of India
Location: New Delhi, India
Routine immunization coverage remains a challenge in many parts of India. The country continues to face a significant burden of morbidity and mortality due to vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs). In order to support the national goal of improving the quality and coverage of routine immunization, the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have set up an Immunization Technical Support Unit (ITSU) to provide technical support to the Universal Immunization Program (UIP) for strengthening and revitalizing routine immunization in India.
ITSU augments human resource capacity at the Union Ministry of Health in order to: carry out strategic human resource planning at all levels for immunization; document best practices of immunization programs from within and outside India; support development of policies, procedures and guidelines to improve program management and conduct policy analyses for effective implementation needed to cover how UIP plans for and manages short- and long-term needs (current program strengthening, new vaccine introduction preparedness, future adoption and delivery of new vaccines); develop data-driven decision-support tools and research to provide baseline information for decision support; and identify areas of research that strengthen capacity and generate evidence that informs policy and practice; support development of appropriate guidelines and tools for state-level technical assistance; conduct operations research to identify the role of affordable Information and Communications Technology (ICT) tools for UIP strengthening in the areas of Social Mobilization, Supply Chain management, operations, and Vaccine-Preventable Disease (VPD) & Adverse Events, and Immunization (AEFI) Surveillance; and incubate, develop and leverage the role of technology in strengthening immunization. Interns with interests in Development Policy, Public Health, Public Policy, Social Sciences, Applied Sciences, or Natural Sciences are encouraged to apply. Statistical skills would be an asset but are not required. Interns will aid in work related to ITSU’s programmatic and research roles as follows:
- Research – Interns will be expected to review grey and formal academic literature, synthesize findings, and present findings to the team. Areas of research will be determined according to the needs of the organization determined at the relevant time.
- Participate in meetings – Interns will be expected to participate in relevant meetings, take note of proceedings, and contribute as much as possible to discussions.
- Writing – Interns will be expected to produce written material for the organization which can range from research articles to publicity material.
- Field Travel – Where relevant, interns will be included in field visits. It is important to note that most of an intern’s time will be spent in the ITSU office in Delhi.
Two placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns.
Indian Institute for Cerebral Palsy
Location: Kolkata, India
Internships at the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy (IICP) will provide a practical experience in disability- related issues, particularly in persons who have cerebral palsy and other neuromotor conditions that lead to lifelong disability. IICP offers services across the life-cycle from newborn babies aged to adults over 50 years of age. It works within the context of an institution and in the community--in urban slums and rural areas of the state of West Bengal. IICP has a multi-disciplinary professional team of therapists, teachers, and social workers who work in close partnership with persons with disability and their families. Through its different services and training programs, IICP seeks to facilitate awareness among persons with disability and their families of equal rights and opportunities and to assist them in gaining access to all aspects of life in the community. IICP’s assistive technology center demonstrates the close collaboration between developers of technology and users. Possible projects for IIP interns will be: Teaching children and adults with disability; physiotherapy/occupational therapy--assessment and management of CP; collaboration with the National Resource Center for Augmentative and Alternative communication; collaboration with the Ankur Advocacy and Empowerment Group; vocational Training; adult day and short stay respite services; family services; social work; projects in Jugnu, a playschool for economically disadvantaged children aged 2-6 years. Interns can choose one or more services in which they will be placed. Four placements have been created for the International Internship Program.
International Center for Agricultural Research for the Dry Areas
Location: Amman, Jordan
The International Center for Agricultural Research for the Dry Areas (ICARDA) implements the Water and Livelihoods Initiative (WLI), which is funded by USAID. This program is currently operating in eight countries in the Middle East. WLI Jordan is seeking an IIP intern to support ongoing research for development activities in rural communities facing severe water shortage. These communities practice livestock production, and the WLI seeks sustainable grazing practices to enable livelihoods for target communities. This IIP internship will be housed in ICARDA’s office in Amman, Jordan. The WLI project focuses building the livelihoods of community members within agrarian communities in the Middle East. In Jordan their target “benchmark” site is in the steppe or “badia,” which receives very little rainfall. The local communities are involved with livestock production in the desert area with poor soils that get further degraded by overgrazing. Social scientists work with the communities to understand the needs and challenges to raising livestock in this area and the biophysical scientists test new techniques for water harvesting to sustainably grow for grazing. In 2014, the WLI is planning to partner with Mercy Corps in Jordan to scale out these technologies to communities across Jordan. The IIP intern will be involved with community development planning to understand challenges to uptake of ICARDA signature technologies. She/he will work to communicate these social/technical barriers to uptake of the technologies so that ICARDA scientists and partners may modify the technology to make it applicable. IIP candidates should have strong interpersonal and writing skills and interests in social or physical science, IT, community organizing, agricultural research, and applied research. Experience with agricultural development will be a plus as would professional proficiency in Arabic, although prior experience with Arabic is not required for success in this internship. One placement has been established for an International Internship Program (IIP) intern.
International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Locations: Hyderabad and New Delhi, India; Pretoria, South Africa; Accra, Ghana; Kathmandu, Nepal
IWMI is an international scientific non-profit organization that undertakes world class research to help improve water management in developing countries. IWMI’s major outputs are the results of the scientific research. How this science is communicated is critical to overcome the looming global water crisis. IWMI must continually be evaluating the effectiveness of its science communications. The interns will be place in pairs. Each intern pair will conduct research that will include: defining the main products/activities, target audiences and aims of the different products/activities; setting up the methodology, based on face-to-face interviews, for assessing these; undertaking this analysis (travel in the allocated country may be required), analyzing the results, and participating in a workshop, presenting these results and making recommendations for future marketing and communications. IIP candidates with interests in communications, science, agriculture, environmental studies, or development are encouraged to apply. Experience conducting surveys, interviews, and data analysis would be an asset. Two placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns. See the listings in Placements by Region for descriptions of the specific projects available. View a Powerpoint presentation (.pdf) by a past intern.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Intern 1: Wrote software in the R programming language to help manage input and output to and from the SWAT water modeling package; Drafted policy briefs from lengthy research reports to present to public officials; Helped write the text for an informational guide. Intern 2: Wrote new Office brochure; reached out to government/NGO/press officials for a TV launch/publicity event; edited subtitles for their English TV series; data entry and basic linear regressions on excel; organized a file system for Office data
Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE)
Location: Shanghai, China
JUCCCE is a non-profit organization accelerating the greening of China by catalyzing systemic change in key drivers of energy use by focusing on sustainable urbanization, sustainable industry, and sustainable consumption by convening cross-sector, cross-border influencers to push tipping points. During its first four years, JUCCCE completed a series of mayors’ training courses with the National Academy for Mayors of China, training over 200 mayors and vice mayors from across China, representing over 450 million Chinese citizens. JUCCCE is best known for catalyzing Smart Grid in China to reduce energy use and emissions nationwide. Three placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns. This year IIP interns will work on the China Dream project. This project seeks to reimagine prosperity and reshape consumerism in China. The goal is to catalyze a new aspirational lifestyle that is innately sustainable for the emergent middle class in China. For the consuming class in China that is growing from 300 million today to 800 million in 2025, the "China Dream" (和悦梦想: 新生活规范行动) provides an alternative to the unsustainable American Dream, and celebrates personal health and respectful relationships rather than conspicuous consumption. It is about "living more, not just having more." The emphasis is not on “sustainability” but rather “harmony” as defined by “balance,” “flow,” and “respect”--all traditional Chinese values. IIP candidates with research and communication skills are encouraged to apply. IIP interns will contribute to one of the following two initiatives of the project:
- Soft Power Creative: The soft power side of the China Dream is key to shaping consumer behavior--using Western marketing techniques together with traditional Chinese values to influence social norms. The intern will be working with partners such as Ogilvy and Saatchi & Saatchi as well as other stakeholders to help curate and finalize the visuals and branding of the China Dream within the categories of “Our City," “Health and Wellbeing," and “Culture and Style.” Experience in marketing, design and Adobe PhotoShop would be an asset
- Research Analyst: The IIP intern will work on research within a specific consumer industry sector to determine best practices for sustainable production and consumption that can be used in China. Research goals would be:
- To analyze Chinese consumer demographics and trends for the products/services
- To examine the competitive landscape of the industry in China
- To understand the communication channels for the target consumers
- To create a set of bespoke corporate policy recommendations
Karolinska Institute, Division of Molecular Structural Biology, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
The Research Division of Molecular Structural Biology at Karolinska Institute is a laboratory that covers a broad range of topics, from structural enzymology, to molecular neurobiology, to the structural basis of glycoprotein export from the endoplasmatic reticulum.The IIP intern will participate in an ongoing project in the lab, working alongside a graduate student or researchers. It is highly likely that the project will be working towards structural studies of proteins involved in L-cysteine biosynthesis in M.tuberculosis or structural, biophysical and biochemical characterization of proteins involved in peptidoglycan remodeling events in M.tuberculosis. This group uses a wide-range of techniques including cloning of protein constructs, protein expression and purification, crystallization, characterization of protein integrity, biochemical characterization of protein activity, and the characterization of protein inhibition. The lab will try to ensure that the IIP intern experiences as much of this process as possible, but it is almost certain that the project will include purification of protein from recombinant E. coli cells and screening for crystallization conditions, as well as other techniques. This IIP placement is ideal for IIP candidates with a background in biological sciences and an interest in biophysics or in the structure and function of proteins. Experience in the basic lab techniques of biochemistry/molecular biology, such as the use of pipettes, electrophoresis, preparation of buffers etc., would be an asset. Two placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Cloning protein constructs of proteins involved in the transport pathway from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus into bacteria and insect cells to generate protein that could be purified and crystallized for structural studies. Work responsibilities: Performing the cloning procedures, Western blots, SDS-PAGE gels, etc. The work is heavily lab based and is perfect for Molecular Biology majors. Occasionally, you will write protocols outlining the modifications used in your procedure, or will analyze DNA sequences and primers on the computer.
Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization
Location: Goettingen, Germany
The Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization is a research institute for investigations of complex non-equilibrium systems, particularly in physics and biology. Its founding history goes back to Ludwig Prandtl who in 1911 requested a Kaiser Wilhelm Institute to be founded for the investigation of aerodynamics and hydrodynamics. As a first step, the Aeronautische Versuchsanstalt (now the DLR) was established in 1915 and then finally the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Flow Research was established in 1924. In 1948 it became part of the Max Planck Society. In 2003 it was renamed to Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-organisation. It is one of 80 institutes in the Max Planck Society (Max Planck Gesellschaft). The institute has four departments conducting research in the following areas: nonlinear dynamics, fluid dynamics, pattern formation, biocomplexity, and dynamics of complex fluids. IIP interns will work on tasks related to the experimental and theoretical projects of the Institute. IIP candidates with interests in physics, biology, math, and natural sciences are encouraged to apply. Four placements have been established for International Internship Program (IIP) interns.
Middle East Scientific Institute for Security (MESIS)
Location: Amman, Jordan
MESIS is an NGO based in Amman, Jordan, established in 2002. It is a joint initiative between the Royal Scientific Society in Jordan and Sandia National Laboratories in the U.S. Though it is a scientific organization, very few of the staff members are scientists by training. MESIS deals primarily with chemical/biological/radiological and nuclear (CBRN) risks. These risks are not only a result of deliberate actions such a dirty bomb but can be accidental, such as an explosion at an industrial facility that uses toxic chemicals, or natural, such as a pandemic. This is why it is important that civil society is involved in addressing these risks. MESIS’ main role is to develop and implement regional training and engagement programs for experts from government (military and civilian) or otherwise (academia and private sector) with a view to raise awareness about these threats and build capacity to deal with them. Since these threats are cross border by nature, MESIS also looks to promote regional cooperation in these areas, thereby promoting the role of science and technology collaboration in bringing people together. MESIS works on exciting and cutting edge issues that lie at the nexus of science and security issues. Examples include the development of a regional response plan for pandemic outbreaks/biohazard outbreaks/radiological accidents, the localization of best practices on nuclear security and the testing of infrasound technologies to be used for the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty verification regime. This IIP internship is flexible in the sense that the IIP intern can be involved on a number of different issues. IIP interns will be assigned specific tasks but will also have a choice to pursue other work that is related to MESIS's mission. IIP work responsibilities will include: arranging, planning and implementing major international conferences, training programs and scientific experiments. The IIP intern’s involvement may cover budgeting, logistics, PR and outreach and customer relations and/or on the content of the event which typically falls within the areas chemical/biological/radiological and nuclear (CBRN) issues; developing funding proposals and meeting with prospective donors; arranging and/or attending high level meetings with local or foreign dignitaries; and preparing meeting material, speeches and presentation, and memos on specific topics of interests. Previous IIP interns have helped implement major international conferences at MESIS, as well as helping on the content-side of the event (working to develop language for a code of conduct for chemistry in the Middle East, helping shape the U.S. Federation of Scientists’ engagement in the region and interfacing with high level diplomats from Jordan, the US and elsewhere). IIP candidates with a background in international affairs, public policy, development, Middle East studies, human or hard sciences, management, marketing, and a specific interest in science and technology or broader interest in the role that science and technology can play in furthering regional stability are encouraged to apply. Basic Arabic would be an asset but is not required. Two placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns.
The Nature Conservancy
Location: Beijing, China
The Nature Conservancy is one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, working in over 35 countries to protect the lands and waters upon which life depends. For over 14 years, the Nature Conservancy has been working in China with communities, governments, academia, and the private sector in designing conservation strategies that benefit nature and people. They provide training, scientific expertise,and leadership on a broad range of strategies throughout the country. This IIP placement is with the Conservation Beyond Borders initiative that works to implement strategies that strengthen the environmental performance of Chinese investments in key geographies (Latin America and Africa) and in key sectors (infrastructure and natural resources). IIP interns will participate in the creation of research reports and assist in various aspects of conservation project management, including meeting with internal and external partners (established organizations, start-ups, and entrepreneurs), policy analysis, developing work plans, and evaluating project outcomes. IIP candidates with interests in environmental studies, economics, political science, East Asian studies, ecology, and international relations are encouraged to apply. Skills in research, multitasking, meeting deadlines, and data analysis would be an asset. Mandarin proficiency is recommended and Spanish or Portuguese would also be an asset. Two placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns.
Newcastle University, Institute of Neuroscience
Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England
The Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Newcastle works in the novel field of connectomics and authored the first review in this area (Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2004). Interns will be involved in pilot studies or ongoing studies in the field of Neuroinformatics. The Institute is interested in using computational tools to understand mechanisms leading to brain diseases, diagnose brain diseases, and predict what intervention would be most beneficial for an individual patient. Topics include the analysis of neuroimaging or electrophysiology data, developing tools for network analysis, and simulating brain activity and development. Interns will be involved in ongoing research and might become co-authorson journal manuscripts. Even though programming and statistics skills are highly beneficial for such projects, a keen interest in understanding how the brain works as a network is the key component of a successful intern. Projects are available in the following areas for IIP interns: (1) Simulation of dynamics and development of large-scale human neural networks involving high-performance computing, cloud computing, and grid computing; (2) Analysis of structural and functional brain connectivity in human subjects; in particular of patients with developmental disorders leading to schizophrenia and (childhood-onset) epilepsy; and (3) Development of novel tools for neuroimaging and connectome analysis. Visit http://www.biological-networks.org/ to learn more about the School of Computing Science’s research. Three placements have been created for the International Internship Program. This internship is offered in partnership with the Program in Global Health and Health Policy and can be used by GHP juniors for completion of the GHP Summer Research Requirement (please check the appropriate box on your application).
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP interns): Intern 1: Working on the assigned research project (usually coding in Matlab); attending weekly lab meetings; preparing final report. Intern 2: Building a database for epilepsy patient data as a medical aid for clinicians to extract features from recordings and search for similar recordings based on comparison of features or metadata. The project involved designing the system and programming all the different pieces of the puzzle. A significant portion of the programming was done in MATLAB for extracting particular features for EEG recordings and MySQL was used for designing the database. I also used Perl and HTML to build a web application that interfaced with MATLAB and the database.
Para La Tierra
Location: Asuncion, Paraguay
Para La Tierra is a conservation organization located on a nature reserve in the heart of South America, where the Atlantic Forest and the Cerrado meet. These two globally threatened habitats are home to a huge biodiversity that has never been studied in Paraguay. Para La Tierra specializes in giving students the opportunity to contribute to what is known about this forgotten part of the world, while they develop and hone their skills as researchers, investigators, scientific writers, presenters, and data analysts. IIP interns will have the opportunity to design and execute their own scientific project based on their own interests while learning new skills from professionals and other students. As an IIP intern, you will gain vital field work experience, scientific fieldwork, and data analysis skills. Options for study include butterflies, frogs, lizards, small mammals, collection methods, camera trapping, etc. You may also have the chance to publish your research in a peer-reviewed journal or contribute to one of Para La Tierra’s field guides. If you are interested, you will also have the opportunity to learn Spanish and get involved in Para La Tierra’s community outreach programs, learning about other cultures and customs. At Para La Tierra, you’ll meet like-minded people and make friends for life while you become a global citizen and skilled scientist. IIP candidates with interests in life sciences and good Spanish speaking, reading, and writing skills are encouraged to apply. Two placements have been established for International Internship Program (IIP) candidates.
Pasteur Institute, Department of Cell Biology and Infection
Location: Paris, France
Since its creation in 1887, the Institut Pasteur has become famous throughout the world as a symbol of science and French culture. For 120 years, its foundation has contributed to the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases through research, teaching, and public health initiatives. The Institute enjoys an independent status and has numerous other assets, with its research laboratories, technological platforms, teaching center, and medical center all located on one campus in the heart of Paris. The IIP intern will participate full-time in an ongoing research project in molecular genetics. The laboratory in which the intern will be placed is interested in deciphering the molecular and cellular mechanisms of bacterial invasion of host cells. Therefore,the host laboratory has developed several novel approaches to investigate the intimate interactions between the host and invading pathogens in single cells in space and in real time developing novel microscopic techniques. We will employ our innovative, single-cell based, microscopic approaches to elucidate the apparent contradictory effects of multiple secreted effector proteins processes. French is not required but would be an asset. One placement has been been created for an International Internship Program (IIP) intern.
Seeds to Sew
Location: Enoosaen and Nyeri, Kenya
Seeds to Sew is a non-profit organization with the mission of improving the lives of women and girls in disadvantaged communities through education and job skills training. Their goal is for the women and girls in their program to use these job skills to make money and support themselves and their communities. Three placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns. IIP interns will work on one of the following two projects:
- Impact Analysis on the Individual and Communities of Skills Training and Income Development Programs: IIP candidates with interests in International Health and Human Services, Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, Advocacy, and Human Rights issues are needed for summer internship to conduct surveys, assessments, and home visits to continue a longitudinal study on the impact of programs on Seeds to Sew participants, their family members, and their broader community. Basic knowledge of statistics, testing methodologies and analysis would be helpful, willingness to document results not only on paper, but also via photographs and video is a must. This IIP Intern will also help improve Seeds to Sew program operations.
- Socio-economic and Environmental Impact of Foreign Corporate Agriculture on Under-educated, Subsistence Farming Villages in Rural Kenya: This placement is for IIP candidates who are interested nresearch and reporting on both the societal, economic and/or environmental impacts resulting from a foreign-owned sugar-cane factory that began operation in a subsistence farming village in 2011. Taking advantage of an uneducated, impoverished community, the factory leased the land from the villagers at low rates. Given the slow turn-over of sugar cane as a crop, there is limited land to graze cows and grow other vegetables which are important to sustaining families and their livestock. Hence, women are having increasing difficulty in feeding their cows and feeding their families (as there are lower milk & crop yields). IIP candidates with backgrounds in water and soil science, environmental testing methodologies, public environmental policy, global economics, etc are encouraged to apply. The selected IIP candidate must be interested in writing up results for either press or research publication.
Semmelweis University Medical School
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Founded in 1769 as the Medical Faculty of what was then the University of Nagyszombat, Semmelweis University is the oldest medical school in Hungary. The Faculty became an independent medical school after World War II and has developed into a university that teaches medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, health sciences, health management, as well as physical education and sport sciences. This University is widely recognized as one of Europe’s leading centers of medicine and health sciences, combining innovation and a time-tested tradition in three main areas: education, research, and health care. It is also one of the largest health care institutions in Hungary, covering approximately six percent of the nation’s health care needs. IIP internships with Semmelweis University Medical School provide access to different laboratories at the university to learn about ongoing research, help in the experiments and carry out mini-projects, such as data collection and/or analysis, literature search, help in drafting scientific papers. IIP interns will be matched with professors and researchers (mentors), based on their interest and availability of mentors. It is anticipated that the IIP interns can spend time in at least four different labs, if this is their preference, or they spend more time at one place. Research areas available for this IIP internship include, but not limited to biology, biophysics, chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, pathophysiology, anatomy, nanomedicine. IIP candidates with interests in biology and/or basic medical sciences are encouraged to apply. After successful completion of the program, students will be awarded a dedicated certificate of achievement. Three placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns. This internship is offered in partnership with the Program in Global Health and Health Policy and can be used by GHP juniors for completion of the GHP Summer Research Requirement (please check the appropriate box on your application).
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Read laboratory research articles; Helped analyze experimental data; Ran trials for liposomal characterization experiment; Learned to use atomic force microscopy technology
Stiftung Solarenergie Philippines
Location: Manila, Philippines
Stiftung Solarenergie (StS) Philippines is a social enterprise organization that strives to combat rural poverty by providing all off-grid villages with access to innovative technology solutions powered by solar energy. One in four Filipinos lack access to electricity. The vast majority of these 25 million individuals live in isolated coastal and mountainous regions across the country. StS Philippines is engaged in illuminating off-grid households via solar home lighting systems, installing community-level solar applications such as computer labs and water pumps, empowering beneficiaries through education and capacity building, and mobilizing citizen-sector support for efforts to eradicate energy poverty. StS catalyzes change by leveraging both market-based as well as philanthropic resources, working in tandem with social businesses and community-based organizations to ensure sustainable impact at the grassroots level. IIP interns will assume significant responsibilities and gain the opportunity to support ongoing community development work at the grassroots level. The responsibilities of the IIP intern will include working on projects related to designing, piloting, and evaluating household and community level solar energy solutions, such as the design of solar homes (lighting, radios, phone charging, TV, fan, refrigerator), solar community learning centers (computers and educational content), and solar lamp rental facilities. Also, IIP interns can contribute to the communication and publicity of advocacy campaigns that aim to mobilize resources and raise awareness on rural electrification issues. This placement is ideal for IIP candidates interested in economic and community development, the environment, technology and social enterprises. Online media, graphic design, and video editing skills would be an asset but are not required. Two placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Dealt with mapping out unelectrification for regions of Philippines to prioritize company strategy for regions to target / -Piloted and configured new solar unit product to aid in diversification of solar product portfolio; eventually demoed solar products.
University of Edinburgh, School of Chemistry
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
The School of Chemistry (SoC) is part of EaStCHEM, the joint Chemistry Research School of the University of Edinburgh and St. Andrews University. EaStCHEM scored highest in the U.K. in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (meaning that its research is ranked highest in the country). Within the SoC, there is research being carried out in a wide variety of areas. The primary research area is in measuring and understanding redox potential in cells. Intern responsibilities may include designing or synthesizing a new reporter that can be used to study redox processes in cells or using systems biology and computational approaches to interpret and model redox processes in cells. This is an extremely interdisciplinary area where a keen interest in biology/medicine is required as well as an understanding of chemistry. In previous years IIP interns have been responsible for designing and synthesizing new reporters that can be used to study redox processes in cells; using systems biology and computational approaches to interpret and model redox processes in cells; developing new MALDI imaging techniques to image distributions of metabolites in cells and tissues; or developing new catalytic strategies for cheap and environmentally friendly synthesis. IIP candidates with interests in chemistry, biology, or electrochemistry are encouraged to apply and should be comfortable working in an organic chemistry lab. Experience working in an organic chemistry lab would be an asset. Four placements have been created for an International Internship Program (IIP) interns.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Intern 1: Determining optimal reaction conditions for iron catalysis of nitroarenes. Intern 2: Prepared mouse brain and kidney samples for MALDI imaging, ran MALDI imaging on samples, analyzed data to see how oxidized and reduced lipids were distributed over tissue samples. Intern 3: Two primary responsibilities: creating a mapping of redox-dependent pathways in a cancer cell (involved mostly literature research) and developing nanoshell-based intracellular pH sensors.
University of Oxford, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine
Location: Oxford, England
The MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM) at the University of Oxford is one of the world’s premier institutes where basic research in cell and molecular biology is applied to the improvement of human health. Located next to the John Radcliffe Hospital, clinician/scientists and basic researchers work hand in hand with clinicians in the hospital to tackle both rare and common diseases. The WIMM incorporates programs on blood diseases and stem cell disorders (leukemia, lymphoma, and thalassaemia); immunological disorders (HIV AIDS, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and eczema); cancer (bowel and breast); infectious disease (malaria); and a wide range of genetic diseases, including abnormalities of facial development and disorders of the neuromuscular junction. IIP interns will join in the basic and medical research being undertaken at the WIMM providing an introduction to the new revolution in molecular medicine. Three placements have been created for the International Internship Program. This internship is offered in partnership with the Program in Global Health and Health Policy and can be used by GHP juniors for completion of the GHP Summer Research Requirement (please check the appropriate box on your application).
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Intern 1: I worked on a project to create a circular RNA to serve as a microRNA sponge with a graduate student. He would help plan the experiments and tell me what needed to be done, but I was responsible for carrying out all of the experiments. I used a variety of different lab techniques, including cloning, tissue culture/transfection, and FACS. At the end of my time I presented my data in a lab meeting. Intern 2: Conducted flow cytometry experiments to characterize surface marker expression patterns in leukemic stem cell populations at different time points of acute myeloid leukemia.
University of Queensland, Institute of Molecular Bioscience (IMB)
Location: Brisbane, Australia
The Institute for Molecular Bioscience's mission is to decipher the information contained in the genes, proteins, and molecules of humans, animals, and plants. Since its establishment in 2000, the IMB has earned a reputation as one of the Asia Pacific region's leading research institutes. By understanding the development process and aspects that go awry in complex diseases, IMB aims to develop pharmaceutical and cellular therapies, technologies, and diagnostics to prevent or treat such diseases.
The IIP intern will worki in medicinal chemistry aiming towards molecules of therapeutic application. The IIP intern will conduct synthetic organic chemistry of small heterocyclic drug-like molecules, purification (HPLC) and characterization (LCMS, NMR, Mass Spectrometry). Although the IIP intern will be primarily conducting synthetic chemistry, there will be significant opportunity to learn about multiple areas of drug discovery and related biology through the multidisciplinary team within which the intern will work. Two main areas of interest: (1) novel therapies to treat inflammatory disease (asthma / type 2 diabetes / inflammatory disorders of the brain) via targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome and (2) drugs against pathogenic fungi, in particular, the human pathogenic fungus cryptococcus neoformans a common cause of fatal fungal meningioencephalitis in immunocompromised individuals. Additional background information on the two research areas:
- Novel Therapeutics for Anti-inflammatory Disease: Working as part of an international multidisciplinary team in the field of synthetic medicinal chemistry, the intern will synthesize novel members of an exciting compound series, targeting the NLRP3 signalling cascade, aimed at reducing levels of a potent pyrogen interleukin 1β. Such molecules have significant utility in inflammatory diseases including asthma, type 2 diabetes and also in disorders of the brain, Parkinsons and Alzheimers. The lead molecule is showing excellent activity in murine models and IMB is looking to advance the series. There is a unique opportunity to learn and develop synthetic, purification, and analytical skills contributing to the series for future patent and/or publication and the intern will be included on this as appropriate to the work conducted. The student can expect to complete his/her project with an excellent understanding of the structure activity/property relationships within the series and the underlying biology of the disease area.
- Drugs against pathogenic fungi: The human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans is a common cause of fatal fungal meningioencephalitis in immunocompromised individuals, typically AIDS patients and persons undergoing immunosuppressive treatment such as transplant and chemotherapy. In sub-Saharan Africa, cryptococcosis is the second most deadly infectious disease behind only malaria. Infections of humans caused by pathogenic fungal species such as C. neoformans are highly refractive to pharmacological intervention due to similarities in our shared eukaryotic physiology. Antifungals are few in number, often expensive, frequently toxic to humans, and have notoriously variable efficacy across the spectrum of human fungal pathogens.The aim of this internship is to develop promising new antifungal lead compounds. An approach of particular interest is exploiting differences in essential enzymes that are well characterized in both the human host and the fungal pathogen to gain selective antifungals through structure based drug design. IMB has already conducted an extensive screening campaign where a number of hits have been selected for further work. This project will require a talented and creative synthetic chemist willing to work across multiple scientific disciplines to progress the project.
IIIP candidates with experience in synthetic organic chemistry and an interest in therapeutics are encouraged to apply. Laboratory experience particularly organic synthesis work is required. One placement has been established for an International Internship Program (IIP) intern.
University of South Bohemia, Institute of Physical Biology
Location: South Bohemia, Czech Republic
This project is part of the Biological Engineering Group in the Institute of Physical Biology. IIP interns may choose from a few existing projects. In addition, projects that align with the IIP intern's own interests may be arranged. Here is some brief background on the Group's main project: Frontiers of biology lie now in exact evaluation of biological processes, whether the field is called Systems Biology, Biological Engineering, or another name. There is currently discrepancy between processes observed in living cells, for example by microscopy, and models that are based mainly on biochemical observations--that is, interactions of proteins and metabolites extracted from the cell culture and examined in the test tube. There are many examples of non-homogeneous behavior in cells that have essential functional meaning and may be crucial for discrimination between living and non-living matter. In contrast to the prevalent approach the Group examines the macroscopic properties of cells and uses a stochastic systems approach from control engineering for model building. For that a new mathematical method of point information contribution and point information entropy hsa been developed, which is implemented into software used for evaluation of processes in living cells. IIP intern responsibilities will include work in one or more of the following areas: 1) cell monolayer cultivation, cell time-lapse microscopy, simple data evaluation all with relation to cancer research, implantology, intestinal tract diseases, etc. 2) software testing, participation in image analysis or chromatography data analysis software development, building of data storage systems; 3) mathematical modeling of biological processes, fluid flow description in bioreactors by CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) codes, laboratory Couette-Taylor bioreactor testing, design of experiments to identify model parameters, proposal of new experimental protocols for essential biotechnology processes. At the end of the summer, the IIP interns will participate in a project presentation. IIP candidates should have an academic background in experimental or theoretical physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, informatics, or mechanical, chemical, or electrical engineering. Basic chemical or biological laboratory skills, teamwork skills and computer knowledge are recommended. Skills in Spanish, Czech, German, or Swedish would be an asset but are not required. Three placements have been established for International Internship Program (IIP) interns.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Tested and calibrated microscope equipment to determine its optimal functional limits; analyzed data from these tests using the lab's computational analysis protocols; and made a final poster and presentation.
World Wildlife Fund Madagascar & Western Indian Ocean Program
Location: Antananarivo, Madagascar
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is a non-profit organization that has become one of the largest environmental organizations in the world. There are more than 1,300 WWF conservation projects underway around the world, the vast majority of which focus on local issues. WWF teams up with local non-profit agencies and other global NGOs and forms relationships with village elders, local councils, and regional government offices. The major project of the Madagascar office is the Western Indian Ocean Marine Protected Areas Network Project, a program of the Indian Ocean Commission and implemented by WWF Madagascar and West Indian Program Office. The project’s overall goal is to contribute to the maintenance of the biodiversity and marine and coastal resources of the Western Indian Ocean Marine Eco-region through a coherent regional network of effectively managed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). To reach this goal, the project has four main components: the development of a regional strategy for biodiversity and marine resources management through an eco-regional approach; the support of existing and newly created marine protected areas (MPA); the development of a Regional Forum of MPA managers; and an awareness and communication program related to the importance of MPAs. 2013 is the 50th anniversary of WWF's work in Madagascar and the IIP intern's work this summer will have a specific focus on this milestone. IIP intern responsibilities may include translation, writing stories and web content, research for communication materials, video documentary development and editing, and social networking. IIP candidates should have interests in biology and journalism. Proficiency in French would be an asset, as would skills in writing, video-editing, and content management systems. One placement has been established for an International Internship Program (IIP) intern.