IIP Internships in Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Studies
Agro-Tourism Association (ATA)
Location: Kampala, Uganda
About: Agro-Tourism Association is an agriculture, agribusiness, value chain development, and practical entrepreneurship development company that was established by agribusiness specialists in Uganda. The company provides Agribusiness and Agro Industry value chain development services to local, national, regional and international organizations as well as private sector companies. It offers a wide range of services in Agribusiness trade and investment. All its services are designed to enhance capacity development and poverty reduction through strengthening the private sector engagement in food security and Agribusiness trade.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will work on one or more of the following projects:
- Agro-Tourism Business Development: ATA is working to establish an agro-tourism center with demonstration gardens for crops and livestock. They have also established accommodation facilities and relaxation gardens to enable travelers and learners ample time to spend at the center. In this project, IIP interns will be in charge of managing various departments, developing business plans and trainings, creating marketing strategies, and any other related responsibilities assigned by the supervisor.
- Farming of Sorghum, Maize, Rice and Cassava: ATA is also engaged in the farming of sorghum, maize, rice, and cassava. ATA’s partner company, comprised of 5,000 small farms in Eastern Uganda, trains farmers in aspects of business, provides farmers with agro-inputs, and purchases and markets produce from their small farms. IIP interns on this project will be responsible for farmer training and mobilization, development of training documents, and creation and implementation of marketing strategies.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interests in agriculture, business, tourism, environmental studies, management and related interests are encouraged to apply.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here:
Location: Gulu, Uganda
About: The mission of Aid Africa is to save lives, rebuild sustainable communities, and bring a hopeful future to Africans in need. Aid Africa aims to rebuild sustainable communities in Sub-Saharan Africa through the manufacture and distribution of efficient cooking stoves, providing clean water by digging and repairing wells, and planting trees to reforest the region.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will contribute to one or more of the following projects:
- Stoves: Improving manufacturing techniques, producing technical documentation, emissions and practical kitchen testing.
- Trees: Improving propagation and planting techniques, grafting, teaching in the villages, adding value to crops (business), and advising on economic choices.
- Water: Finding water sources, improving drilling techniques, participating in social activities in the communities, water quality testing, and health and hygiene education.
- RUMPS (ReUseable Menstrual Products): Working on manufacturing as well as educating about basic hygiene.
- Agricultural techniques: Researching techniques that don't include pesticides or fertilizers, participating in open source seed selection, harvesting, and marketing cell phone software to maximize selling prices.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interests in environmental studies, engineering, physics, public health, education or business are encouraged to apply.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here:
A*STAR Institute of Medical Biology (IMB)
Location: Singapore, Singapore
About: 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.
Intern Responsibilities: 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. IIP interns will be paired with a senior member of the lab to pursue one of these fast-moving projects.
Qualifications: Applicants should have competency in basic molecular biology and a keen interest in biomedical research.
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 genein the words of a past intern): Intern #1- I'm responsible for the wet lab work, which has mostly been cell culture (feeding & passaging cells) and imaging (eosin staining, immunohistochemistry). My supervisor has now put me in charge of his various experiments: he instructs me on what to do at the beginning of the day and I spend the rest of the day doing it. This includes culturing and differentiating mesenchymal stem cells, endothelial cells and human embryonic stem cells, combining them into organoid bodies, sorting cells via fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS), fixing cell aggregates in wax, sectioning and staining, and visualization via phase contrast and fluoresence microscopy.
Previous work experiences (in the words of a past IIP intern): I tried to differentiate pancreatic beta cells from human embryonic stem cells, using a protocol provided by someone who collaborates with the lab I was in. Every day, I also did tissue culturing to maintain a few stem cell lines. In addition, I have learned techniques that aren't related to my project but that are still very common and useful, including in situ hybridization of mouse and zebrafish embryo, and immunofluorescence...My postdoc was trying to compare the efficacies of two different differentiation protocols for taking stem cells to pancreatic beta cells. I carried out one of the differentiation protocols, while someone else in the lab is doing the other...Tangibly, I learned a number techniques, including tissue culturing, RT-qPCR, flow cytometry, in situ hybridization, and immunofluorescence, working with stem cells, and mouse and zebrafish embryo. More generally, I learned how long it takes to make progress in science and how often things can go wrong.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: A*Star IMB
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
About: 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 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 sub-units in protein complexes, the laboratory is an integral part of the new research concept of the Institute.
Intern Responsibilities: 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 gain 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 use a unique mutant that should alter the functionality of either the DNA translocation or the endonuclease activity.
Qualifications: IIP candidates 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.
Previous work experiences (in the words of the past IIP interns): Intern 1: Learned basic Unix commands; Learned a number of types of simulation software (VMD, GROMACS, YASARA, PYMOL); Studied the model system of interest; Performed the necessary modifications to the structures; Determined what sort of simulations to run and how to vary system parameters; Analyzed simulation results; Learned to use various tools to complement the analysis. Intern 2: I worked on project focused on determining the structure and function of HsdR's C-terminal domain. Intern 3: I created a computational model of the S and M sub-units of the Type I Restriction Modification enzyme EcoR124I. This work involved a number of computational programs and algorithms including homology modeling, multiple sequence alignments, protein - protein docking, and molecular dynamics. I learned to work independently on a project and assume responsibility for research that other colleagues in the lab are depending on to get done. My work was important because I created the computational model of two key sub-units of the enzyme EcoR124I (of which there are three sub-units). My project was expanded to include simulations of the protein with different mutations along the helical chain. Once we ran simulations for up to 100 nanoseconds, we had to determine how the mutations were affecting the structure and integrity of the protein. This model will be published in the lab's next paper. Intern 5: I calculated the PMF for the permeation of CA through the human ORAI1 channel...I learned umbrella sampling simulation techniques.
View PowerPoint presentations by past IIP interns:
ASCR Intern #1
ASCR Intern #2
ASCR Intern #3
ASCR Intern #4
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic
Locations: Rome, Italy; Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia; Pokhara, Nepal
About: Bioversity International is a global research-for-development organization. Bioversity International delivers scientific evidence, management practices and policy options to use and safeguard agricultural and tree biodiversity to attain sustainable global food and nutrition security. They work with partners in low-income countries in different regions where agricultural and tree biodiversity can contribute to improved nutrition, resilience, productivity and climate change adaptation. 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.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will be assigned to research projects and will learn to work as part of a project team. IIP interns will gain a broad understanding of issues in international agricultural research-for-development, particularly 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, writing reports and producing public awareness materials. For specific project listings, please review the regional listings for Bioversity in Italy, Malaysia and Nepal.
Qualifications: Candidates with interests in economics, agriculture, ecological studies, public relations, journalism, environmental studies and international development are encouraged to apply. For the research position, skills in mathematics and statistical methods is required and knowledge of econometric modeling and programming skills would be an asset. For the communications position, skills in social media and research skills to develop stories would be an asset.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Bioversity Italy
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Bioversity Malaysia
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Bioversity Nepal
Center for Structural Biochemistry, University of Montpellier
Location: Montpellier, France
About: 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.
Intern Responsibilities: The selected IIP intern will be involved in one of the various research themes developed in the lab, but will be able to choose a research team and will be assigned a specific project to develop within this team.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interest in structural biology, biochemistry, and biophysics are encouraged to apply.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Intern #1-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. Intern #2- My work responsibilities involve inducing bacteria to produce protein (my project specifically involves nuclear receptors - either PXR or PPAR) and then purifying and crystallizing the protein in complex with a variety of ligands. Then, using x-ray crystallography techniques, the structures of the proteins bound to different ligands can be solved.
View PowerPoint presentations by past interns:
CBS Intern #1
CBS Intern #2
CBS Intern #3
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Center for Structural Biochemistry, University of Montpelier
Consortium for Enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development Ltd (CURAD)
Location: Kampala, Uganda
About: The Consortium for Enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development Ltd. (CURAD) is a nonprofit innovative agribusiness incubator established and owned by Makerere University, NUCAFE, and NARO (coffee research center). CURAD is established as a public-private partnership initiative with the aim of helping students, graduates, skilled and unskilled workers, and startups grow and develop their business ideas. The organization supports innovative young entrepreneurs and agribusiness leaders to maximize the productivity and profitability of agricultural enterprises that can may lead to more innovation and new enterprises. CURAD is geared towards creating jobs and boosting incomes within the agricultural sector in Uganda.
Intern Responsibilities: Projects will be assigned on site.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interests in business, entrepreneurship, agriculture, marketing, and economics are encouraged to apply. Prior experience or research with crop production, post-harvest handling, rural farming and/or agribusiness would be an asset.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here:
Consortium for Enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development Ltd. (CURAD)
Council of Scientific Institutional Research (CSIR)
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
About: The Council for Scientific and Institutional Research (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. 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.We are looking for hard working and motivated young researchers who like to be involved in remote sensing research in South African landscapes.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns in partnership with the Earth Observation Research Group will conduct research on remote sensing in South African landscapes.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with a background/interests in environmental science, geoscience, remote sensing science (applied to conservation, forestry, agriculture, water) are encouraged to apply. Technical skills in programming and modelling, image processing and GIS would be an asset.
Previous work experiences (in the words of past IIP interns): 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. Intern #2: I tested out a particular software used in the office. The software is used to make canopy height models, which is an digital elevation map of the vegetation in certain locations. The output of the software program differs based on the parameters set in the script. I ran the script with certain settings and observed the outcome...My work gave the organization a better idea on the capabilities of the software they have invested it. It also shed light on what parameters/ scripts produce the most informative canopy height models. This allowed the group to make a value judgement on the particular software and decided if it is their best option...I felt that this experience has given me a small bit of insight into multiple aspects of research science. I learned a bit about data collection/ field work, requesting funds, interdisciplinary cooperation, and of course remote sensing.
View a PowerPoint (.pdf) by a past IIP intern:
CSIR Intern PowerPoint #1
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Council on Scientific and Institutional Research (CSIR)
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations
Location: Rome, Italy
About: 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 as a source of knowledge and information, help developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry, and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all.
Intern Responsibilities: 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. Interns have also been placed in the Statistics Division.
Qualifications: 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.
Previous work experiences (in the words of the past IIP interns): 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: Updated 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: Developed programs to systematically reformat, analyze and incorporate data from different UN databases into the FAO STAT Database in Pesticides. Developed programs to systematically process questionnaires from member countries. Analyzed past data. Intern #4: Cleaned data sets, generating new variables using STATA to find insight about small family farms. Compiled 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. Intern #5: Researched good practices and worked on creating a framework that assessed land tenure in fisheries. I gained a lot of new knowledge about fisheries and aquaculture in general and saw first-hand how a large international organization runs. Intern #6: Reviewed literature and developed a methodology for the measurement of the social, economic, and ecological costs of disasters on fisheries and aquaculture...Secondary projects: developing a conceptual framework of disaster impact on capture fisheries and aquaculture based on value chains and livelihoods; and editing documents (progress reports, terminal statements, back-to-office reports)...I learned the process of economic research, how the organization functions at the branch/division/department level...I contributed to the initial stages of a fishery/aquaculture department project involving future plans for disaster impact data collection...I constructed my work around the draft for notes on information system on damages and losses from disasters in agriculture. Intern #7: I created a database containing data from every country pertaining to fishery contribution to GDP, GVA, imports, exports, and production. Through research and a variety of collection methods, I was able to collect a substantial amount of data and create a database from it using both accounting and programming. Used UN data I converted data to a single currency, which I could then use to compare with other known data and compare across countries. Through this analysis, I assessed the validity, accuracy, and precision of the data. I then calculated statistical trends in the data to explain the trajectories of fishery importance around the world and wrote a report with my results...I have learned how to critically analyze data in a practical setting as well as use my love of computer science to do so (by programming rather than simply accounting, I was extremely efficient and my supervisors were very impressed and amazed). Being able to speak with colleagues from all over the world has also been an eye-opening experience. Intern #8: I worked on fact sheets that summarize work from 7 different areas. I also wrote blog entries on a research vessel voyage...I learned how to communicate with many different people and how to work in communications for a large organization. I presented data that highlights the organization's work without presenting opinions or supporting outside sources. I synthesized data from a variety of sources in a concise document...The sheets will be used at conferences for the next 5 years. The blog is up now.
View a PowerPoint presentation by past IIP interns:
FAO Intern #1
FAO Intern #2
FAO Intern #3
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations
Geodynamics Group, Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University (ANU)
Location: Canberra, Australia
About: The research of the Geodynamics Group at the Research School of Earth Sciences, 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) and 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.
Intern responsibilities: The IIP intern will work as part of a team to study some aspect of change 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, or measuring actual melting rates of polar regions, among others. Possible responsibilities may include developing software to model satellite orbits, processing actual satellite observations to derive estimates of geophysical processes on Earth, and/or 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, and 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.
Qualifications: Strengths in maths/physics are essential for this IIP internship.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of a past intern): Intern #1: I rewrote their program to make it much more flexible, powerful and easy to work with. The project itself involved using and analyzing data from the GRACE satellite mission. I worked with Matlab a lot, so I learned quite a bit of this. I also did Monte Carlo simulations, which was very interesting. The organization was trying to find an accurate representation of the earth deformation using the data from an old satellite system called Grace. They're trying to estimate these Love Numbers in order to match the displacements collected by GPS data. If the research makes more progress, they plan on publishing a paper on their findings.Intern #2: My project was to perform inversions with the equation used to calculate earth deformation due to surface loading. I interpreted the data collected from satellites at various locations and inverted to estimate coefficients called Love Numbers. Most of my work was on Matlab and/or Fortran...
View a PowerPoint presentation from a past IIP Intern:
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here:
Geodynamics Group, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australia National University
Indian Institute for Cerebral Palsy
Location: Kolkata, India
About: The Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy (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's multi-disciplinary professional team of therapists, teachers, and social workers, work closely with persons with disabilities and their families. IICP seeks to educate and inform persons with disabilities 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.
Intern Responsibilities: Possible projects for IIP interns will be: teaching children and adults with disability; physiotherapy/occupational therapy--assessment and management of CP; collaboration with instituitions like the National Resource Center for Augmentative and Alternative communication and the Ankur Advocacy and Empowerment Group; vocational training; adult day and short stay services; family services; social work; projects in Jugnu, a playschool for economically disadvantaged children aged 2-6 years. IIP Interns can choose one or more services in which they will be placed.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interest in human rights, assistive technology for persons with communication difficulties, advocacy and empowerment of marginalized groups, journalism, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, drama, music, art, and/or counseling and social work are encouraged to apply.
Previous work experiences (in words of past IIP interns): Intern #1: In the mornings, I taught the special education department. I worked with students ages 8 to 14 on reading/writing in English and learning basic math skills. In the afternoons, I went to the Adult Day Center where adults with severe disabilities spend their day. There, I was responsible for engaging the students in activities and teaching them basic life skills like how to feed themselves. I was also responsible for feeding those students who cannot feed themselves. In the evenings, I worked on creating teaching aids for the next day's class and worked on a project in the vocational training division to teach the hearing and speech impaired how to cook. Next month, I spent my mornings working full time in the vocational training division, helped the students there build resumes, conducted job interviews, and obtained marketable skills that they can use in a workplace environment (like typing, use of computers, exc.). I then spent my afternoons working with Roshni, the technology department, where I helped develop additional learning aids for the hearing and speech impaired. Intern #2: I worked in the Hindi/English classroom and the LSTU (Life Skills Training Unit) classroom in the Center for Special Education (CSE) in the institute. My projects were to teach communicative English in those classrooms, teach math and English individually for two students, and made a poetry communication board for one student. The communication board was a collection of poems that the students used to learn and recite poetry...I learned how to be more open-minded about different cultures. I was very accustomed to structured schedules and routines in the United States, but I learned how to be more flexible and open to sudden changes...My project was also helping me learn how to teach. I learned how to present the material, what kinds of problems/questions to give them, and how to grab their attention...My communicative English lessons helped the students learn how to interact with people who speak English, especially with foreign visitors who come to the classrooms. The individual math and English lessons for the two students helped them reach several of their academic goals. The communication board was also be used by other students who have difficulty speaking, not only the student that I made it for. Intern #3: I worked in the institute's catering unit alongside people with disabilities. This work included making a picture catalog of all kitchen items, utensils, and appliances to help in the vocational training process; creating a Korean cookbook that is disability friendly to share before leaving; facilitating the daily cooking process and trying to improve understanding between supervisor and vocational trainee during the learning process through the use of my projects...Specifically, I created five pictorial catalogs of Indian spices, vegetables, fruits, utensils & appliances, and dry goods with English and Bengali captions along with one pictorial Korean recipe book that people with disabilities could use in the catering unit...I learned that there is such a thing as a universal language, adapted to intense and fast-paced environments like the kitchen in a foreign environment,and learned about who to turn to when questions arise i.e. navigating the Indian power bureaucracy.
View power point presentations by past IIP interns:
IICP Intern #1
IICP Intern #2
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Indian Institute for Cerebral Palsy
International Water Management Institute
Location: Accra, Ghana
About: 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.
Intern Responsibilities: The interns will work 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.
Qualifications: 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.
Previous work experiences (in words of past IIP interns): Intern #1: Here at the IWMI West Africa office, I am working with the research and communications coordinator, assisting in preparing documents, brochures and fliers that showcase the work of IWMI. I have also been doing a lot of field work and visiting demonstration sites that have been set up by IWMI to support their research. Intern #2: I produce infographics supporting the researchers. I write briefs that summarize the research outcomes. I helped analyze all their minority publications...I am learning the need to review what organizations tell the world and make sure it is actually what the organization wants the world to see.Intern #3: At the beginning, my work consisted mostly of helping with translation of communication material from English to French and helping to write workshop report and briefs on research projects for communication purposes. However, over the past three weeks, I have been spending most of my time working on placing a great quantity of data into bar charts and then overlaying them onto the Google Earth world map... IWMI also conducts projects and maintains partnerships in French speaking West African countries and so communication material in French is key to developing those projects and relationships. Finally, my idea of using computer programming to complete the Google Earth project probably saved hundreds of hours of work since it turned out that I had to create more than 7,000 graphs and now need to place each of them on Google Earth...I think what I am mostly learning from my supervisor and other colleagues are the workings of IWMI as an organization and in what ways people deal with their individual work and fit in within wider collective projects and goals. The specific project that I have been working on involves some programming and manipulating Google Earth which are good skills to refine.
View PowerPoint presentations by past interns:
IWMI Ghana Intern #1.pdf
IWMI Ghana Intern #2.pdf
Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE)
Location: Shanghai, China
About: Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE) is a non-profit think tank that catalyzes transformative change in the greening of China by convening coalitions of cross-border and cross-sector influencers around precise collaborative action that trigger tipping points in sustainable energy, urbanization, and consumption. JUCCCE has already helped catalyze key tipping points in the way China creates and uses energy by introducing Smart Grid to China, training over 800 government officials on eco-cities, and creating early awareness of energy-saving light bulbs.
Intern responsibilities: IIP interns will work on one or more of the following areas:
- Research: IIP interns will contribute to policy research and workshop management on a sustainable food program called "A New Way to Eat," where they teach sustainability to primary school students. The interns may also conduct research for JUCCCE's mayoral training programs. The research the interns produce will be used in the curriculum during the training classes which take place bi-annually. Candidates for this placement should have strong research skills as well as skills in graphic design, Photoshop, In-Design, and Final Cut Pro.
- Marketing and Communications: IIP interns will work on JUCCCE's projects that aim to help corporations understand how to engage consumers around sustainability. The interns will create case study videos of sustainability project developments, develop eco-tourism training materials for their mayoral training program, and conduct research for a city urban planning project. Candidates with previous experience in marketing and communications and skills in design software and videography are encouraged to apply.
- Social Media: IIP interns in this role will help research and develop the social media strategy for JUCCCE, create memes to share the message of the importance of sustainability. Candidates with social media and online data analysis are encouraged to apply.
Previous work experiences (in the words of past IIP interns): Intern #1: Worked on urban development proposal for 10,000 people and created movie; wrote twenty page-paper on sustainable eating choices; edited website. Intern #2: Researched, formatted, and helped to write a paper on A Culture of a City. Participated in meetings with experts and interviewing them for more information on the topic. Website development for the organization, (I was responsible in making content updates and structural improvements to the official JUCCCE website). I also helped write a New Urbanization Council Paper, as part of a 8-10 person team. My responsibilities for this project included: developing policy recommendations, researching case studies, consulting with experts, and drafting a paper to be presented to the China Academy of Governance...I learned how to create and work on a project that needs to be started from scratch (from the brainstorming to the layout and actual writing of the paper).
View a PowerPoint presentation by a past intern:
JUCCCE Intern #1
JUCCCE Intern #2
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: JUCCCE
Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization
Location: Goettingen, Germany
About: 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-organization. It is one of eighty 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.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will work on tasks related to the experimental and theoretical projects at the Institute.
Qualifications: Candidates with interests in physics, biology, math, and natural sciences are encouraged to apply.
Previous work experiences (in the words of past IIP intern): Intern #1: We had an active grid, which is an array of paddles which are computer controlled to run a certain rms velocities and angles. I programmed these paddles to have certain shapes and statistical properties. Then, using a wind tunnel we measured statistical properties of the resulting turbulent flow through these paddles. Intern #2: I studied energy decay in turbulence by using an active grid and a wind tunnel. The active grid lets us control how we stir up the air in the wind tunnel, and we can measure it's effects on turbulence. In the mornings, I generally worked on coding the active grid, analyzing data, or reading papers. In the afternoons, I took data in the wind tunnel. Intern #3: Basically, I worked with a very specific type of amoeba, called Dictyostelium discoideum, which I took lots of data of. Frequently I injected the ameoba into small chambers, and then I recorded images of the movements of the amoeba for hours. While the data is being taken, I used imageJ and Matlab to look at and analyze data that I've taken from previous days. With this data I tried to determine specific information about the communication and movement of the amoeba. Intern #4: I set up experiments in the morning that run all day. It involved working with Dictyostelium (an amoebae) in a microfluidic channel, and I investigated resonance/phase locking in the system. In the afternoons I did prep work for the experiments and analyzed the data I have collected (using image J and matlab). We had been working on a few different ways to analyze the data and tried some new ideas. Hopefully the work can be complied into a Arnold tongue graph (showing the resonance conditions of the system)...I am learned not only how to work in the lab with Dictyostelium but the data analysis is really interesting. I have tried a few different ways to extract useful/accurate information from the microscopy pictures, it was interesting to talk with my supervisor to evaluate the results and discuss new approaches. Intern #5: My fellow IIP intern and I worked on an experiment to see how movements of tiny paddles in a wind tunnel affect the flow in a wind tunnel. This involved programming the paddles in C++ to move in a variety of correlated configurations, designing experiments/ collecting velocity data in the wind tunnel, and analyzing the data using matlab code. We wrote a paper by the end...One of the goals of the Max Planck Institute is to better understand turbulence. We studied the very important idea of the decay of turbulence over time...I learned a lot about the theory of turbulence and some statistics too. Also I learned a ton of C++, which has been a great way to practice some of the skills I learned in COS217 this spring. Intern #6: We were studying turbulence decay in a wind tunnel, using concepts from classical turbulence theory. We were attempting to induce changes in turbulence using an active grid, composed of 129 paddles mounted to independently controlled servo motors. We implemented a new feature in the control code that allows the experimenter to generate grid movements that are correlated in time, and not just in space. Then, we were working in the experimental hall, running tests on the grid in a wind tunnel and collecting data. In between tests, we ran data processing scripts (coded in MATLAB) and generated correlation functions and energy decay functions. After our data collection phase was finished, we processed the data further, organized it into a presentable form, and wrote reports summarizing our findings and the technical details about our code...I learned experimental methods, new programming skills, and data collection methods. I also learned how to negotiate theoretical issues in light of time, algorithm, and hardware constraints.
View a PowerPoint presentation by a past intern:
Max Planck Institute Intern #1
Max Planck Institute Intern #2
Max Planck Institute Intern #3
Max Planck Institute Intern #4
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Max Planck Institute|
Middle East Scientific Institute for Security (MESIS)
Location: Amman, Jordan
About: Established in 2002, MESIS is an NGO based in Amman, Jordan. 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 but can be accidental or natural. 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) 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/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.
Intern Responsibilities: This IIP internship is flexible in the sense that the IIP intern can be involved on a number of different issues. Interns will be assigned specific tasks but will also have a choice to pursue other work that is related to MESIS's mission. Work responsibilities will include: arranging, planning, and implementing major international conferences, training programs, and scientific experiments. The intern’s involvement may cover budgeting, logistics, PR, or customer relations; developing funding proposals and meeting with prospective donors; arranging and/or attending high level meetings with local or foreign dignitaries; and preparing meeting material, presentations, and memos on specific topics of interest. Interns also may have the opportunity to work on one of the following three projects:
- Network for Radiation Monitoring- MESIS administers a network that seeks to develop common standards on radiation monitoring across the Middle East. It is important to develop such standards across the region and then try to raise them. MESIS manages this project which includes managing data sharing, hosting the website, managing communication between network members, and organizing its annual workshop. Aside from policymakers and scientists from the region, it includes participation of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, and the US Department of Energy, among others. An IIP intern could be involved in any number of activities on this project. This includes the content side such as being an official rapporteur for the annual workshop, designing the agenda for the year in consultation with donors, developing the metrics by which the workshop is assessed, or developing workshop reports and policy memos for regional partners in government and the Arab League. It may also include administrative tasks like managing the news and events section on the website, arranging logistics for the annual workshop (airlines, agenda, local transportation and other vendors), and managing budgets and price quotations.
- Site Assessment- MESIS manages a project to ensure that there are standards in place at facilities that use low-level radioactive sources. These include hospitals who used radioisotopes for cancer treatment and academic institutions that use radioactive sources to calibrate equipment. The idea behind the project is to ensure that the overlooked side of radiological and nuclear security (the soft underbelly) is not overlooked. An IIP intern could conduct site assessment visits with members of the staff, be responsible for developing the reporting and documentation of the site visits, and be involved in communicating with a variety of stakeholders.
- News for Stakeholders- MESIS tries to ensure that its website is constantly updated with news that is of interest to our stakeholders. An intern may be requested to research and write short pieces of news that might be of interest to our stakeholders and run the analytics for each story. This will help determine which stories to select in the future. Previous interns have helped implement major international conferences at MESIS.
Qualifications: 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.
Previous work experiences (in the words of past IIP interns): Intern #1: My work responsibilities included research on a number of subjects including chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear security, the creation of an online certificate program for students to raise awareness and the level of education on biosafety and biosecurity threats, the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, and my own independent research on MERS-CoV, more specifically whether the vast difference in the occurrence of cases between Saudi Arabia and its neighbors comes as a result of natural, unpreventable factors or government policy failure. I also assisted in arranging the logistics for workshops we hosted with outside parties. Intern #2: I had a wide variety of different tasks and projects that were influenced by my different interests. I was responsible for helping with logistics of conferences, writing news blurbs for the organization's website, doing research analyzing the various chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear risks in different countries around the region, and I conducted an independent research project on communicable diseases in Syrian refugee camps in Jordan. Intern #3: I did research on CBRN issues in the Middle East and North Africa to help MESIS make more detailed risk assessments of different countries. I also helped with conference logistics, such as writing letters to various organizations, budgeting, and sometimes I sat in on and offered (albeit limited) feedback on translations of slides. I filled in various databases about MESIS associates and participants so the organization has a complete record of people who support them and whom they should invite back for conferences. I wrote news blurbs for the company website on current CBRN issues. I pursued an independent research project on governmental and nongovernmental responses to health care crises in Syrian refugee camps...I learned a lot about the role of different governmental and nongovernmental organizations for CBRN and health care issues in the Middle East and North Africa and about regional political dynamics. I have also learned about difference nuances of Arab culture, as MESIS prides itself on being able to best present CBRN issues (which are often very sensitive topics) specifically to an Arab audience. We've spent a lot of time discussing Jordanian politics (both domestic and foreign relations/policies) and current events in the Middle East, such as ISIS gaining access to chemical weapons and the Iran nuclear deal...My research on CBRN issues has allowed MESIS to extend its capacity as an organization. My independent research and research on CBRN issues will allow MESIS to have even more of an advisory capacity on CBRN issues, as it can now make better risk assessments of different CBRN issues in MENA countries and can be more aware of the ongoing Syrian refugee health care/communicable disease crises.
View Powerpoint presentations by past IIP interns:
MESIS Intern #1
MESIS Intern #2
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Middle East Scientific Institute of Security Studies|
Newcastle University, Institute of Neuroscience
Location: New Castle, England
About: The Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Newcastle works in the novel field of connectomics and authored the first review in this area. The core mission of the Institute of Neuroscience is to undertake the highest quality research in neuroscience that translates into patient benefit, real world application and commercial opportunity. They aim to develop vibrant and productive interactions between researchers within their Institute, with other Faculty of Medical Sciences research institutes, and with external groups, aligning with the New Castle University’s core mission of ‘Excellence with a Purpose.' Their research is grouped into four broad research themes: Neural Systems and Applied Neurophysiology; Mitochondrial Disorders; Developmental, Behavioral and Comparative Neuroscience; and Neurodegenerative, Cerebrovascular & Psychiatric Disorders.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP Interns will contribute to projects in the lab, likely under one of its four research themes. Previous projects include: Computational analysis of visual perception data in the praying mantis, computational analysis of brain activity in the auditory system of zebra finches, auditory psychophysics, behavioral assessment of taste in bumblebees, electrophysiological recording of proboscis muscles in bumblebees, human memory and movement disorders.
Qualifications: Candidates with interests in neuroscience, psychology, life sciences, and/or computer science are encouraged to apply. Skills in histology/staining/western blotting or programming such as MATLAB, statistical skills or knowledge of statistics would be an asset.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Intern #1: I worked on the assigned research project (usually coding in MATLAB); attended weekly lab meetings; prepared final reports. Intern# 2: Built 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. Intern #3: I worked on implementing and running trials on a paradigm that tests human perception of spectral flux. Spectral flux is an element of timbre, a broad classification of auditory qualities that distinguish sounds from one another based on properties other than pitch and volume. Understanding human perception of spectral flux will increase our understanding of how humans distinguish auditory objects, for example how one voice can be heard from a sea of background noise..I was also responsible for updating the script I wrote to run the trial as we determined changes that should be made and came up with the practice paradigm that made the trial feasible for participants in under an hour. The paradigm I developed will also be used for macaque subjects. My other coding project was to properly modulate the stimuli for another trial so that they could be more easily used in a clinical setting...I was introduced to a number of interesting fields through talks I have been to at the Institute, for example retinal prosthetics, and I learned about primate research and toured the primate facilities. I taught my colleagues about programming which improved my communication skills. Finally, I learned a lot about MATLAB and writing clear, effective code that can be used by others. This was my first experience writing code outside of a COS class so I have been getting to apply a lot of the skills I learned in class to actual projects. Intern #4: I did a behavioral taste assay with bumblebees where I measured their consumption in response to different concentrations of KCl, Quinine, and Sucrose. Additionally, the speed of retraction of the proboscis, wing size, thorax size, and other measurements were recorded and plotted. MY next project was something more directly related to neuroscience. My supervisor and I gathered recordings from the muscle that controls the glossa of the bumblebee and then we sorted and analyzed the spikes. I learned skills in electrophysiology in addition to data analysis and collection. Intern #5: My project involved mining a large data set of data from experiments involving recordings of neurons in monkeys' visual cortex from the past 15 or 20 years. The main goal of my project was to test a theory predicting a certain correlation between receptive field size and the type of visual neurons I was looking at. What I did was mine the data set in order to test the validity of these predictions. A secondary goal to my placement was to have me create a write up to help others more easily navigate and access the data I am working with in the future. As far as the project goes, I learned quite a bit about the biology and the theory behind vision, specifically disparity and stereoscopic or 3D vision. Even though I worked in a dry lab and mostly programming, I still had to read a bunch of more biologically based papers in order to be able to better understand what exactly I was looking for. Even though I could have just blindly done the data analytics I found it both fulfilling and helpful to learn more about the data I was studying. On a more general side, I learned what it is like to work in a lab, and go to lab meetings. Even though I am the only person working specifically on my project, the lab meeting still made me feel like part of the team. It let me interact with professionals in the field on a peer to peer level.
View a Powerpoint presentation by a past IIP intern:
Newcastle University Intern #1
Newcastle University Intern #2
Newcastle University Intern #3
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Newcastle University
Pasteur Institute, Department of Cell Biology and Infection
Location: Paris, France
About: 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.
Intern Responsibilities: The laboratory in which the IIP intern will be placed is interested in deciphering the molecular and cellular mechanisms of bacterial invasion of host cells. 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. They employ their innovative, single-cell based, microscopic approaches to elucidate the apparent contradictory effects of multiple secreted effector proteins processes. The IIP intern will participate full-time in this ongoing research project in molecular genetics.
Previous work experiences (in the words of past IIP interns): Intern #1: I worked on a project studying the immunological effects of mutant Shigella bacteria on the infected and bystander human cells during infection. Intern #2: I conducted a series of small projects whose aims are as follow:1.To identify and characterize large vacuole structures in infected CHIKV cells. 2.To live image cells transfected with labeled CHIKV to deduce the functionality of the virus' capsid after subjection to such modifications. 3.To measure the RNA levels of specific genes in CHIKV infected fibroblast cells to determine the role of fibroblasts in activating the Th17 pathway...I learned how to do specific scientific techniques, how to design experiments and how to read scientific literature. Intern #2: My supervisor worked on a project to elucidate the first steps of Shigella infection into epithelial cells by using a quasi-physiological in vitro model that simulates two types of cells (M cells and enterocytes) in the intestine. Two projects that we were working on are finding a good immunofluorescence marker to characterize M cells and transducing cells with fluorescent actin to mark their cytoskeleton and visualize bacterial entry. Day-to-day responsibilities included maintaining cells, culturing bacteria, infecting cells, fixing and staining cells, and acquiring images using microscopes...I felt that I have learned a great deal from this internship. Firstly, techniques—I have never worked with eukaryotic cells or transwells, performed infections, done immunofluorescence staining, or used these kinds of microscopes. Secondly, I learned about lab dynamics and the atmosphere in a research institution. Third, I gained insight on different parts of an academic career since we have master's students, doctoral students, postdocs, and our PI in the lab. Fourth, I learned something about confidence in this kind of work and what kinds of setbacks to expect. Intern #3: My supervisor worked on a project to elucidate the first steps of Shigella infection into epithelial cells by using a quasi-physiological in vitro model that simulates two types of cells (M cells and enterocytes) in the intestine. Two projects that we were working on are finding a good immunofluorescence marker to characterize M cells and transducing cells with fluorescent actin to mark their cytoskeleton and visualize bacterial entry. Day-to-day responsibilities included maintaining cells, culturing bacteria, infecting cells, fixing and staining cells, and acquiring images using microscopes. I felt that I learned a great deal from this internship. Firstly, techniques—I had never worked with eukaryotic cells or transwells, performed infections, done immunofluorescence staining, or used these kinds of microscopes. Secondly, I learned about lab dynamics and the atmosphere in a research institution. Third, I gained insight on different parts of an academic career since we have master's students, doctoral students, postdocs, and our PI in the lab. Fourth, I think I have learned something about confidence in this kind of work and what kinds of setbacks to expect.
View PowerPoint presentations by a past interns:
Pasteur Institute Intern #1
Pasteur Institute Intern #2
Pasteur Institute Intern #3
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Pasteur Institute, Department of Microbiology
Semmelweis University Medical School
Location: Budapest, Hungary
About: Founded in 1769, Semmelweis University, Hungary’s oldest medical school offers courses in 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 one of the largest health care institutions in Hungary, covering approximately six percent of the nation’s health care needs.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP internships at the 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. Interns will be matched with professors and researchers (mentors), based on their interest and availability of mentors. It is anticipated that the interns can spend time in at least four different labs on their interest. Research areas available for this IIP internship include, but not limited to biology, biophysics, chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, pathophysiology, anatomy, nanomedicine. After successful completion of the program, students will be awarded a dedicated certificate of achievement.
Qualifications: Candidates with interests in biology and/or basic medical sciences are encouraged to apply.
Previous work experiences (in the words of past IIP interns): Intern#1: Read laboratory research articles; Helped analyze experimental data; Ran trials for liposomal characterization experiment; Learned to use atomic force microscopy technology. Intern #2: The main project I am working on deals with fibrin which is a protein involved in blood clotting. We saw how fibrin forms under different conditions, varying the concentrations of calcium and sodium. I learned to take AFM images using a machine called a Cypher to look closely at how the fibrin had formed. I also performed a gel electrophoresis on fibrin and other proteins that are a part of the blood clotting process, like factor VIII. I also worked on minor projects like sub culturing cells and performing PCR reactions. Intern #3: Using nanotechnology to stretch the protein titin, both full length titin and some single domains of titin, in order to study the structure of the protein and the forces needed to unfold it's structure. I have also assisted with a smaller project measuring the viscoelasticity of the protein fibrin as it forms blood clots. In addition, I worked on Next Generation Sequencing: creating genomic libraries of DNA samples using PCR. Intern #4: We studied predominantly the effect of temperature on cochleate formation, but also studied best practices for formation and disintegration. Day to day, we performed various experiments and record the data to hopefully come to some conclusions about the properties of cochleate. The goal of the research is to one day understand cochleate well enough to utilize them as drug delivery devices.I also spent a week in Miskolc shadowing a lab that analyzes genetic information, and, I was able to assist and shadow different colleagues at Semmelweis University from the Nanomedical Department to the Pediatric clinic. Intern #5: Worked alternatively on several different projects with different researchers - including the von Willebrand factor (involved in blood clotting) and its affinity for bonding with collagen at different concentrations, using optic tweezers to observe the structural mechanics of titin (a large muscle protein in the body), and qualitatively analyzing kidneys with varying levels of fibrosis in experimental rat populations. I worked on different projects on different days so there's a lot of variety in what I'm learning. I ran a lot of basic lab procedures that I learned in basic science classes at Princeton, and for the procedures I hadn't learned yet, the researchers guided me through how to do them and then let me do them independently. I learned a lot more about physics and biophysics than I thought I would, since many of the projects are at the very interesting biophysics institute close to the main building, but I found these projects fascinating (particularly the optic tweezers project, which involves stabilizing one end of the protein in with a laser and designing flow cells to attach the protein to the right place, as well as deeply familiarizing myself with the atomic force microscope on several different projects).
View a PowerPoint presentations by past IIP interns:
Semmelweis University Intern #1
Semmelweis University Intern #2
Semmelweis University Intern #3
Semmelweis University Intern #4
Semmelweis University Intern #5
Semmelweis University Intern #6
Semmelweis University Intern #7
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).
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Semmelweis University|
Stiftung Solarenergie Philippines
Location: Manila, Philippines
About: 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. This placement provides IIP interns with the opportunity to understand how social enterprises work. 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. The mission of Stiftung Solarenergie (StS) Philippines is to combat rural poverty by providing all off-grid villages with access to innovative technology solutions powered by solar energy. 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. As a social enterprise, our approach is inherently hybrid in nature. The company 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.
StS Philippines is at a crucial stage of its evolution. We continue to pilot with new products and systems while replicating and scaling up successful innovations. Interns will join a dynamic working environment in which they will assume significant responsibilities and gain the opportunity to support ongoing community development work at the grassroots level.
Intern Responsibilities: Summer internships directly support our mission of empowering rural communities through the deployment of solar solutions. Typical projects include:
- Marketing and communications: Improving website, editing video testimonials, preparing program brochures and fundraising materials/grant applications, preparing training materials
- Impact assessment: executing solar user forums and surveys, preparing impact assessment reports
- Product assessment and deployment: assessing and summarizing technical performance of new solar products, developing new solutions and product packages, deploying products in field and conducting user feedback sessions
- Financial analysis: Updating business plans
- Partner and donor database management: Building and updating community partner and donor databases
- Market research/mapping: Updating electrification data and maps (households, schools, clinics, etc without electricity), preparing additional GIS mapping data sets (e.g., health, poverty, water availability, etc), building GPS system for tracking solar deployments
- Supporting programs and campaigns: Over the summer, the interns will support and participate in active programs (e.g., Light for Education, Light for Health, Light for Life, etc) and campaigns (e.g., Sail for Light, Dive for Light, etc).
- Preparation of training materials and operations manuals: The interns will help develop and write training materials and operations manuals that will be utilized for training our partners and scaling up.
Qualifications: IIP candidates interested in economic and community development, environment, technology and social enterprises are encouraged to apply. Online media, graphic design, and video editing skills would be an asset but are not required.
Previous work experiences (in the words of previous IIP interns): Intern #1: 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. Intern #2: I worked on the Light for Health program, which aims at providing solar energy to birthing centers in rural areas. I created an excel sheet where I input all the information from clinics who want to participate in the program, as well as NGOs and local government units that have recommended them. I worked on creating the program manual, where consecutive stages of the process are described in detail. I was asked to help with technical calculations for a solar electric system which the Department of Education has requested from the organization for computer labs they want to introduce at 6000 schools in the country. I ended up consulting the calculations, adjusting them, and sitting through the meeting with the Department's representatives, which was an amazing experience. I learned quite a bit about how a social venture functions in a developing country, and how much work is required on the community level to make the foundation's work sustainable. Intern #3: I created infographic materials for solar hub; created operations manual for solar hub and evaluated solar hub sites. I also created all of the forms and guidelines for this new section to run and function. Through this experience, I learned startup logistics, form creation and business modeling.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Stiftung Solarenergie, Philippines|
Location: Sydney, Australia
About: TerraCycle is a green business that collects non-recyclable post-consumer waste and transforms it into new eco-friendly products and materials. Terracycle's goal is to eliminate waste by providing innovative solutions for hard-to-recycle products and packaging waste. TerraCycle's model engages consumers and communities in the collection of a range of waste through programs and then converts this waste into new products. TerraCycle also gives back to the community by making donations per unit of waste collected by non-profits and schools. TerraCycle's Australia office offers a comprehensive internship program with meaningful and substantial work, supervision and performance feedback, and opportunities for professional development.
Intern Responsibilities: The focus of this internship placement will be a Keystone Project, which the intern leads and concludes during the duration of the internship. The Keystone Project is designed to contribute directly to one of TerraCycle's work areas so that the intern gains real experience and know-how through substantial, mission-driven work. The intern will also carry out daily activities as required. Keystone Projects are available in the following areas:
- Community Outreach: TerraCycle's Brigade teams are comprised of schools, community organizations, non-profits, youth groups, and a wide variety of other organizations. This intern will lead efforts to engage new and existing participants in the Brigade programs. The intern will research new community engagement ideas, develop strategy, and assist in making preparations to these potential community partners.
- Business Development: This intern will develop business opportunities for TerraCycle. The intern will be exposed to Fortune 500 companies, innovative green start-ups, brand managers, and upcycling strategies. The intern will also learn how to research deal opportunities strategically, pitch business ideas, create effective proposals, and manage business development communications.
- Operations: A vital part of TerraCycle's Brigade program is the management of all operations, including the logistics for the nationwide collection strategy, as well as the identification of and partnership building with manufacturers and cooperatives to make TerraCycle's recycled and upcycled products. This intern will help in assessing logistics, offering recommendations for strategy improvement, and researching and coordinating with manufacturing partners.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interests in business, environmental sustainability, operations management are encouraged.
Previous work experiences (in the words of past IIP interns): Intern #1: I worked on the Business Development team finding prospective partners for the organization. I ended the internship with the generation of over 60 leads. I was also involved in optimizing the outreach and follow-up processes for business development. Apart from that, I worked with the account management department and took ownership of the logistics for one of the programs (for Nespresso coffee capsules)...I learned how to structure my approach and also work though corporate ladders. From my project, I learned that a direct approach is usually the best approach. My co-workers have taught me various tools and techniques to make my work more efficient. My supervisor shared a lot of information on her work process, which was helpful...I connected the organization to several potential clients (at the CEO level) and also helped streamline and verify operations processes.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: TerraCycle|
University of Edinburgh, School of Chemistry
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
About: 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 and 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.
Qualifications: 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.
Previous work experiences (in the words of previous IIP interns): Intern #1: Determined 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: created a mapping of redox-dependent pathways in a cancer cell (involved mostly literature research) and developed nanoshell-based intracellular pH sensors. Intern #4: I conducted tissue culture and growing tumor spheroids and learned how to section to run them on MALDI mass spec...Intern #5: I conducted experiments attempting to regrow nacre, an organic-inorganic composite material found in mollusk shells. This study was motivated by the fact nacre is 3000 times as strong as the material used to make it, namely calcium carbonate. I also studied the mechanism of crystal growth and nucleation on the organic layer of nacre with various imaging techniques...Firstly, I have learned a lot about biomineralization. I have also learned how to do design and organize experiments in a real life lab setting, and have become familiar with many lab techniques...I acquired a lot of data regarding my project, and I essentially started this specific project. Intern #6: I operated a Renishaw Raman spectrometer and used it to carry out two different projects. The first was a time interval comparison of Neutrophil uptake of gold nanoshells, and the other project was a phenotypic comparison of normal Neutrophils vs. apoptotic Neutrophils...From my projects, I learned about spectroscopy analysis and the Chemistry of Neutrophils.
View Powerpoint presentations of past IIP interns:
University of Edinburgh Intern #1
University of Edinburgh Intern #2
University of Edinburgh Intern #3
University of Edinburgh Intern #4
University of Edinburgh Intern #5
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: University of Edinburgh, School of Chemistry|
University of Oxford, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine
Location: Oxford, England
About: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.
Intern Responsibilities: 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.
Qualifications: Previous laboratory experience and experience working with datasets would be an asset but is not required.
Previous work experiences (in the words of previous IIP interns): 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: I conducted flow cytometry experiments to characterize surface. Intern #3: I worked on stem cell differentiation. This project focused mostly on immunofluorescence on E10.5-E11.5 mouse embryos and I examined the stainings using a confocal microscope...I learned mostly techniques and what the day to day work in the lab is like. Intern #4: I worked in an immunology lab that is interested in understanding the structural basis of T-cell recognition and activation. My own project aimed to elucidate what happens at the molecular level when a T-cell is triggered by a superagonist antibody that has been bound to Fc receptors immobilized in a lipid bilayer. To do this, I had to first make four different constructs of Fc receptors. My responsibilities included cloning Fc receptor genes with PCRs, ligations, transformations, and mini-preps; expressing proteins through lentiviral transfections and infections; and purifying the protein of interest with a column of nickel beads. Then, with the purified Fc receptors, I went to a collaborator's lab at the University of Cambridge to do single molecule experiments with super resolution microscopy. These experiments involved putting the Fc receptors into a lipid bilayer, binding to them superagonist and conventional antibodies, and dropping T-cells onto this configuration. The laser microscopes then show what happens to fluorescently labeled molecules as the the T-cells are being activated...I learned a lot of laboratory techniques in the field of molecular biology research. I have been taught to do gene cloning, protein expression, protein purification, and assembly of a lipid bilayer. I also learned about the basic theory of T-cell activation through the kinetic-segregation model and the proposed effects of superagonist antibodies. This experience has also taught me about the daily life of a researcher, a post-doc, a PhD student, and a PI. Intern # 5: I identified gene regulatory elements in the neural crest. This meant I did a lot of enhancer cloning. I also worked with chicken embryos...I learned the way science interacts with medicine, the way rigorous research is conducted, the way collaboration works within the lab. It's been a very rewarding experience.
View PowerPoint presentations by past IIP interns:
MRC Weatherall Intern #1
MRC Weatherall Intern #2
MRC Weatherall Intern #3
MRC Weatherall Intern #4
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: University of Oxford, Weatherall Institute|
University of Queensland, Institute of Molecular Bioscience (IMB)
Location: Queensland, Australia
About: The Institute for Molecular Bioscience's (IMB) mission is to decipher the information contained in the genes, proteins, and molecules of humans, animals, and plants. Since its establishment in 2000, 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.
Intern responsibilities: The IIP intern may 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 and Drugs against pathogenic fungi.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with experience in synthetic organic chemistry and an interest in therapeutics are encouraged to apply. Laboratory experience, particularly organic synthesis work, is required.
Previous work responsibilities (in words of past interns): Intern #1: My project began with an organic synthesis. I was responsible for finding information regarding potential synthetic methods and carrying out the synthesis itself. Intern #2: I synthesized a library of organic compounds to be tested as potential inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (an enzyme) inhibitors. Previous studies have shown that targeting this enzyme may be an effective path toward eliminating Cryptococcus neoformans (a fungus) infection in immunocompromised individuals...I am learning much about organic chemistry. I have been introduced to a wide array of reagents and solvents, reaction techniques, and characterization and purification techniques. Intern #3: My work responsibilities are centered around a project that aims at synthesizing and, thereby, finding new antibiotics. One molecule in a vast library of molecules was found to have favorable antimicrobial properties against gram-positive bacteria (and one form of harmful fungi). My job was to create analogs of this compound using organic chemistry to do so in order that these analogs can be tested to see if they have enhanced activity against harmful bacterial...I learned all about chemistry lab procedure and how to handle independent research...I created a couple of compounds that are analogs of one that has antibacterial properties. These analogs will then be tested against the bacteria again to see if there is a change in antibiotic capability. If so, then IMB may allocate additional funding and research to creating analogs of that compound and mass-producing it for testing. Intern #4: I synthesized molecules that are variants of a known molecule that has antibacterial properties, as part of the new CO-ADD program...The organic synthesis I did could lead to the creation of a new drug (fingers-crossed), and subsequently greater publicity and funding for CO-ADD...Working in a lab was a very good refresher on organic chemistry and on lab techniques. I have learned how to use chemistry machinery, which I think will be good preparation for the fall, when I have to take Experimental Chemistry.
View PowerPoint presentations by past IIP interns:
IMB intern PowerPoint - Julianne Goff
IMB intern PowerPoint - Carol Gu
IMB intern PowerPoint - Yash Patel
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: University of Queensland, Institute of Molecular Bioscience (IMB)|
University of South Bohemia, Institute of Physical Biology
Location: South Bohemia, Czech Republic
About: This project is part of the Biological Engineering Group in the Institute of Physical Biology. 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.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns may choose from a few existing projects or projects that align with the intern’s own interests may be arranged. Projects will include work in one or more of the following areas:
- Reconstruction of the living cells using optical microscopy in transmitted light and atomic force microscopy- This project will help IIP interns become acquainted with such microscopy techniques like atomic force microscopy (AFM) and optical microscopy. IIP interns will prepare on their own samples with lving cells for AFM imaging. Partakers will have an opportunity to work in the force spectroscopy mode in order to get information about mechanical properties and topology of different cell lines and to work with an optical microscope to obtain information on the cell interior. Also, the IIP intern will be introduced to image processing techniques based on information entropy approach. The aim of this project is to cultivate and fix cells, get images, perform image processing and reconstruction.
- Testing microscopes and algorithms developed at the ICS, tracking organelles- Their lab has developed an algorithm for 3D modelling and tracking of cell organelles and their images by an optical system of a transmission light microscope. The goal of this project is to develop and use 3D polygraphy for printing mass models of these organelles and their images by the microscope and find the trajectory of organelles' movement. The project aim is to develop a method of 3D polygraphy for printing mass models of cell organelles and draw the trajectories of moveable organelles.
- Fish school behavior in five information dimensions- Fish behavior is a prototype for behavior of higher organism. Upon their analysis, numerous extrapolations are made for fields as distant as robotics and human psychology.
Qualifications: 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.
Previous work experiences (in the words of the past IIP interns): Intern #1: I 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. Intern #2: I worked on protein crystallization and atomic force microscopy (AFM) of living cells, particularly osteosarcoma cells, strain MG-62, and mice fibroblasts, strain L929. With protein crystallization, I prepared lysozyme crystals by trying out two different methods -- sitting drop and microseeding -- and successfully yielded crystals. I tried to find a way to adhere the crystals to the microscope slide so the sample does not move when it is being scanned. I contacted with a professor from NASA in order to figure out what materials he used so that I can replicate his experiment where he successfully held the protein in place. With atomic force microscopy, I was trained on using the machinery and how the images can be used to determine biochemical processes that are occurring within the cell. This can be used to determine whether or not a cell is at risk of certain diseases, especially cancer. I also learned to cultivate cells and immobilize them for scanning by AFM. I was trained in using the machinery and using it to take elasticity measurements of the cell. I used this information to determine which cells were most compatible with which substrate, which helped determine what material something should be made out of for permanent insertion into the body. In the end, I presented my project on a PowerPoint and created a poster for future displays.
View a PowerPoint presentation by a past intern:
University of South Bohemia Intern #1
University of South Bohemia Intern #2
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: University of South Bohemia, Institute for Physical Biology|
The University of Strathclyde, Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
About: The University of Strathclyde is a leading international technological University located in the heart of Glasgow. Their University is one of the UK’s top 20 research universities. The Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry was ranked 4th in the UK with 94% of its research rated as internationally excellent or internationally leading. They have one of the largest research schools in the UK, with expertise ranging from analytical chemistry to materials science, and from biological chemistry to organic and inorganic synthesis; and national and international collaborations are in place in all research areas.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will work on one or more of the following projects:
- The therapeutic potential of the liver stem cell niche-
Chronic liver disease is the 5th largest cause of death in the UK, and is common worldwide, which leads to scarring and eventually cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. Although liver transplantation can provide a cure for severe liver disease there are insufficient numbers of suitable organs. Furthermore, transplantation results in the need for lifelong immunosuppression. Therefore alternative therapeutic strategies are urgently required for the treatment of liver disease. The liver is a remarkable organ as it can regrow even after 70% of its volume has been removed. However, this ability to regenerate is lost after chronic liver damage from causes such as obesity and excessive alcohol intake. This project is concerned with understanding the signals that bring about liver regeneration and providing a drug molecule to promote this process in chronic cases of disease. The IIP intern will be involved in the synthesis, isolation, purification and characterization of small molecules for biological evaluation with the goal of activating hepatic progenitor cells.
- Paper-based diagnostics for cardiovascular disease using surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and functionalised nanoparticles-
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the most common cause of death for individuals in the UK. One of the common methods for establishing risk of CVD is a blood test to determine the presence of elevated lipoproteins, which are responsible for regulating cholesterol. The outcome of this blood test will inform the clinician on the best course of treatment for an individual. There is, therefore, a major clinical interest in a simple, rapid and sensitive blood test for biomarkers related to CVD. In this project, surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), an emerging analytical tool that detects scattered light from an analyte immobilized on a roughened metal surface, will be used in combination with a paper-based substrate for detecting CVD biomarkers in clinically relevant samples. This project will allow the IIP intern to become familiar with nanoparticle synthesis, characterization and functionalization, bioconjugation methods, assay development and surface enhanced Raman scattering.
- Environmental remediation of polluted waters-
The production of novel silica green nanoparticles (GNs) using a bioinspired green preparation method will be explored. These materials have been used as adsorption platforms to remove VOCs from indoor air and their performance was comparable, or better, with respect to benchmark MCM-41 silica in terms of extraction efficiencies and capacity per unit surface area. The results suggest that the adsorbent performance in VOC removal of the GN is related to their unique physical properties, which can be easily tailored. However the factors that affect their pore size and surface area need to be more carefully studied to provide robust methods of preparation. Moreover they may prove to be efficient in the removal of potentially toxic elements. In this project, GNs will be synthesized using bioinspired synthesis routes and characterized using physical chemistry techniques such as N2 adsorption isotherm, Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy to optimise synthetic conditions in order to improve physical properties such as surface area while retaining their unique pore structures. Their efficacy in environmental remediation will be explored for organic pollutants and potentially toxic elements.
- Effective strategies for the modular synthesis of fluoroarenes-
Their projects for 2015-2016 are based on the sequence 1 to 5 shown in the Scheme. They have developed a route to fluoroarenes from trifluoroethanol, a very inexpensive fluorinated building block. Carbamate 2 can be made on a mole scale; from this, we can prepare reagents 3 which can be used for C-C bond formation via coupling reactions.1,2 Electrocyclisation of the product 4 is followed by elimination of HF which creates an arene system 5.3
- Novel Iridium-Based Catalysts for Hydrogen Isotope Exchange and Reduction Processes-
Transition metal-mediated hydrogen isotope exchange (HIE) is a technique of increasing importance, with a range of applications spanning all aspects of organic synthesis (1→2, Scheme 1). Importantly for medicinal chemists, such direct and flexible labelling processes now represent a central tool for the fast and efficient incorporation of a tracer into drug candidates, enabling various metabolic, stability, and toxicity studies to be performed earlier in the drug design process. Recent studies from their own laboratory have disclosed a series of highly active iridium(I) catalysts of the type 3, capable of delivering heavy isotopes of hydrogen (deuterium and tritium) to aromatic molecules via an ortho-directed C-H insertion process. This suite of catalysts 3 consistently outperforms previous benchmark catalysts across a broad range of substrates, and, indeed, are able to label substrates, at low catalyst loading, where other Ir complexes fail completely even at stoichiometric levels. To date, we have shown that their catalysts are capable of efficiently mediating a range of labelling and reduction processes (Scheme 2). Labelling of aromatic systems is directed by a broad range of functional groups, including ketones, amides, esters, nitroarenes, and an array of N-heterocycles, all with high levels of D-incorporation under mild conditions. They have recently extended this work to include the labelling of non-aromatic unsaturated systems, and to the highly challenging aromatic primary sulfonamides. Catalysts 3 can also mediate the reduction of carbon-carbon double and triple bonds, with highly substituted alkenes being reduced in excellent yield, and tuneable conditions to reduce alkynes to either alkanes or (Z)-alkenes. In this project, the IIP intern will augment their range of catalysts 3 with novel NHC/phosphine-Ir complexes. The design of these complexes will be based on the demands of new, challenging substrates for the labelling and reduction processes in addition to other emerging applications for this family of catalysts in organic synthesis. As part of this programme, the IIP intern will gain experience of both organometallic chemistry and organic synthesis through the preparation of the iridium complexes and a spectrum of organic substrates, as well as via the central catalyzed labelling and reduction experiments, and post-labelling manipulations.
- Calculating physico-chemical properties of bioactive molecules from molecular theories of solvation-
Experimental assays of physico-chemical properties (solubility, pKa, octanol-water partition coefficient, etc) are used in the pharmaceutical industry to identify candidate drug molecules that might be administered by the preferred oral route. However, such experiments are expensive, time-consuming and can only be applied to molecules that have already been synthesized. An alternative approach is to use computer simulations to calculate the properties of putative drug molecules prior to their synthesis. In collaboration with scientists at AstraZeneca in Sweden, they have recently developed several methods for predicting solvation thermodynamics parameters of bioactive molecules in view of potential applications in industry. One such method is based on a molecular theory of solutions, the Reference Interaction Site Model (RISM). The IIP intern will have the opportunity to be involved in large-scale computational screening of thermodynamic properties of drug-like molecules by these new methods. The project will provide research training in physical chemistry (including statistical mechanics and thermodynamics) and modern computational chemistry techniques (including molecular dynamics simulations and molecular integral equation theory).
- Dihydropyridyl complexes: Surrogates for hexane-soluble metal hydrides-
Binary s-block metal hydrides (eg lithium hydride) are excellent reagents for a variety of chemical transformations such as reduction or deprotonation as well as being (theoretically) potential sources of hydrogen for energy storage purposes. However, their lattice structures and consequent high lattice energies result in them displaying poor solubility that significantly impedes their reactivity, even in polar solvents. This limitation has stimulated much recent activity on the preparation of molecular clusters which contain metal hydride units within them. For example, the 1,2 addition of an alkyllithium reagent to pyridine gives an intermediate complex which can subsequently act as a source of molecular lithium hydride (Chem. Commun., 2015, 51, 5452-5455). Their recent research has shown that the identity of the alkyl group R is highly important (Chem. Eur. J., 2015, 51, doi 10.1002/chem.201501880). When linear n-butyl is used the product is polymeric (x = ∞) and insoluble in non-donating solvents; however changing to the bulkier t-butyl group, a cyclotrimeric complex (x = 3) is obtained which is extremely soluble even in hexane. This project will extend this concept across the periodic table, preparing and studying derivatives of other metals as well as probing the effects of using functionalized pyridine starting materials. The bonding and aggregation of the novel products will be probed in solution and in the solid state through a variety of techniques including DOSY NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography and will be tested for metal hydride release via Thermal Volatilisation Analysis allowing the IIP intern an opportunity to learn a variety of different analytical techniques in addition to inert atmosphere synthesis.
- Development of a new multi-component condensation-
The formation of amide bonds has been identified as one of the most frequently deployed transformations within medicinal chemistry laboratories, accounting for a significant proportion of all reactions carried out in this setting. Based on this, methods enabling the mild and efficient synthesis of amides are of considerable importance, and a raft of reagents which enable this process have been reported. Previous results from their laboratories1,2 have shown how amino alcohol derivatives can undergo a base-catalysed amidation (Scheme 1). More recently, we have demonstrated how amino alcohols can be generated in situ from ring opening of an epoxide, which then participates in their amidation manifold. The aim of this project will be the enablement and exemplification of this nascent process.
- Design and Development of a New Generation of Click chemistry Reagents for Biomedical Imaging Applications-
Aromatic ynamines are alkynes that are in direct conjugation with an N-heterocycle. These functional groups possess a unique reactivity profile relative to conventional alkynes that their collaboration is currently exploring in the area of bioconjugation. In particular, they have recently shown that these ynamine substrates react with azides in copper-catalysed Huisgen [3+2]cycloaddition reactions to exclusively form the ynamine triazole product even in the presence of conventional alkynes. This data suggests that a new platform of chemoselective bioconjugation reagents could be developed based on tuning the properties of the alkyne functionality, however at present the mechanistic reasoning underlying this unique reactivity is not known. The objective of this IIP intern is to develop aromatic ynamines as a new functional group in click chemistry reactions. New synthetic methodology will be developed to prepare a suite of aromatic ynamine analogues. With these analogues in hand, the mechanism of these click reactions will be established using a blend of NMR and IR (in collaboration with Dr Neil Hunt, University of Strathclyde) spectroscopic techniques in the Burley group.
Qualifications: IIP candidates must have a strong background in chemistry and interests in lab work. Skills in all the standard manipulations carried out in the chemistry laboratory, i.e. titration, distillation, measurement, etc. are highly recommended.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: University of Strathclyde
World Wildlife Fund Madagascar
Location: Antananarivo, Madagascar
About: The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is a NGO that has become a leading environmental organization in the world with more than 1,300 conservation projects underway around the world. WWF teams up with local non-profit agencies and global NGOs to form 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. The project’s overall goal is to contribute to the maintenance of the biodiversity in marine and coastal resources of the Western Indian Ocean marine eco-region through a coherent regional network of effectively managed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
Intern responsibilities: Intern responsibilities may include developing marketing and communications content, writing articles and reports for different audiences, contributing to the development of communication goals, objectives, events and action plans, assisting in translation, and potentially managing communications projects.
Qualifications: Candidates should have interests in biology and journalism. IIP candidates with interest in communications, journalism, environmental education, conservation and/or biology are encouraged to apply. Proficiency in French would be an asset, as would skills in writing, video-editing, and content management systems.
Previous work experiences (in the words of past IIP interns): Intern #1: I interned in the communications department. My responsibilities included translations of small news articles written by the department from French into English. I also re-organized the country program's photo database. Other duties included creating templates for thank-yous to donors as well as other rewards promised to them, doing research on email marketing services, promoting an upcoming book which will be released by the organization and editing website content. Intern #2: During my internship, I worked on the first Annual Report produced by this office, updated fact sheets about WWF priority landscapes, worked on social media, posted and edited blog material. I've learned specific skills like using Adobe InDesign and figuring out CMS.
View PowerPoints (.pdf) by past IIP interns:
WWF Intern #1
WWF Intern #2
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: World Wildlife Fund Madagascar|