IIP Internships in Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Studies
IIP offers two types of summer international internships: IIP Placements and IIP-IN Programs.
IIP Placements: When you apply to an IIP Placement, you are applying to work at a specific organization within the parameters of the work responsibilities described on our website by the employer and past interns. Therefore, your personal statement should address why you are interested in that specific organization/placement.
IIP-IN Programs: IIP-IN Programs are our new internship programs managed by in-country providers. Each IIP-IN program offers placements in various areas of interest. When you apply to an IIP-IN program, you will not know which organization you will be paired with or the specific work responsibilities. Your personal statement should instead address why you want to work in that country, and in a general area of interest (listed under each IIP-IN description). You will then be interviewed by the in-country staff, and based on that conversation with you, they will find a placement that matches your skills and customize it to your interests.
IIP Placements and IIP-IN Programs both lead to internships in specific organizations abroad.
Please note that IIP internships need to be 8 consecutive weeks. The dates will be agreed upon by you and your employer.
IIP Placements in Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Studies
A*STAR Institute of Medical Biology (IMB)
Location: Singapore, Singapore
IMB is an institute in the biomedical sciences cluster of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR). It started operating in 2007 with a coalescence of research programs from the Centre for Molecular Medicine and the laboratories of the Singapore Stem Cell Consortium. It has been joined by groups from top institutions in Singapore and the U.S. and from the biotechnology industry. The overarching goal of the lab in which IIP interns would be placed is to develop efficient protocols that convert pluripotential hESCs into functional beta cells. If produced in bulk and in a clinically-compliant fashion, these cells could provide an inexhaustible supply of material for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. The lab focuses on three general questions: (1) how to produce bona fide DE from hESC; (2) how to assign pancreatic fate to this progenitor population; and (3) how to specifically direct the progressive specification of early pancreatic cells toward the mature beta cell fate. Manpower is apportioned equally among these aims, and successful IIP interns will be paired with a senior member of the lab to pursue one of these fast-moving projects. Applicants should have competency in basic molecular biology and a keen interest in biomedical research. One placement has been created for an International Internship Program (IIP) intern. This internship is offered in partnership with the Program in Global Health and Health Policy and can be used by GHP juniors for completion of the GHP Summer Research Requirement (please check the appropriate box on your application).
Additional background information on the project: A renewable supply of pancreatic beta cells would be invaluable for treating type 1 diabetes. However, despite considerable effort, it is not yet possible to generate functional beta cells from human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC) in vitro. Interestingly, experiments conducted in mice demonstrate that interactions with the surrounding mesenchyme and endothelium orchestrate pancreatic development. The proposed project seeks to identify signals secreted by these tissues and determine how they affect beta cell development. Specifically, microtissues will be generated from different cell types and used to study the interactions between them. The first component of the project involves culturing and differentiating different cell types for inclusion in 3D microtissues. Microtissues will then be treated with inhibitors of signal transduction to determine the dynamics of cell-cell signaling during lineage commitment. The identity and behavior of different cell types will be determined by a combination of gene expression and immunofluorescence analysis and live cell imaging. The IIP intern will have the opportunity to learn a broad range of techniques selected from the following, depending on the placement duration and their interests: hESC differentiation, 3D microtissue generation, gene expression analysis, immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy/live cell imaging and R/Python programming for quantitative data analysis.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016, 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
The Laboratory of Structural Biology was founded in 2002 as a joint laboratory of the Institute of Systems Biology and Ecology of the Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Physical Biology of the University of South Bohemia named Laboratory of High Performance Computing. The laboratory today combines methods ranging from computational and spectroscopic to molecular biological and biochemical--and, in collaboration with the Kuta Smatanova, lab protein crystallization. With its focus on molecular systems biology, the relationship between structure and function of proteins, dynamic changes related to functional processes on the level of proteins, and the mutual interaction of co-factors and subunits in protein complexes, the laboratory is an integral part of the new research concept of the Institute. IIP interns will be introduced to the computational methods for building and investigation of biological systems and will be able to analyze dynamical changes in systems and learn how to interpret generated data. IIP interns will use special software for modeling biological systems and carrying out molecular dynamics simulations, partly using massive parallel calculations on a beowulf-computer cluster. The underlying experimental basis of all structural information comes from protein crystallography done in house. After getting intense training during the first weeks, IIP interns will each be responsible for a sub-project that leads to a clear outcome/prediction that can be experimentally verified. Possible sub-projects include a computational project and an experimental project. The IIP interns may also have the opportunity to participate in a symposium on Structure Systems Biology in Bratislava, Slovakia, and/or the opportunity to visit biomedical institutes of the Academy of Sciences in Prague. Each IIP intern will be assigned to one of the following two projects:
- Computational Project: Modeling interactions in and between biomolecules and complex biologically relevant systems. The intern will mainly work with computational tools on data, that are produced in house. The IIP intern will get insight into how experimental data, such as X-ray structures, are generated and will collaborate directly with the scientists working in that area.
- Experimental Project: The experimental basis for modeling interactions in and between biomolecules and complex biologically relevant systems for the restriction modification system EcoR124I. The IIP intern will not repeat something somebody has done already, but would use a unique mutant that should alter the functionality of either the DNA translocation or the endonuclease activity. The project would involve: 1) Polymerase chain reaction using primers that would introduce the mutation, amplification of the DNA; 2) Growing of e.coli cells used later for over-expression; 3) Over-expression of protein in e.coli cells; 4) French pressing the cells to disrupt them; 5) isolation of protein from the crude extract using gel filtration and affinity and ion exchange chromatography; 6) Malachite green assay to monitor ATPase activity of your protein; 7) In vitro assay of DNA cleavage; 8) Limited proteoplysis. In nearly all steps SDS-phage electrophoresis is used to monitor either the successful amplification, the over-expression, the protein purity or the fragments after cleavage. In parallel the theoretical work would include: 1) Generation of a homology model of point mutation, 2) Docking of ATP into the system, 3) Molecular dynamics simulation of the system in simple-point water, and 4) calculation of the ATP binding energy.
Applicants should have academic interest in life sciences, an understanding of biologically relevant systems and how they can be understood by computational modeling, a good background in physics and mathematics;, and a good relation to computers as a scientific tool. General UNIX knowledge is welcome, but no programming is required. Two placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Intern 1: Learning basic Unix commands; Learning a number of types of simulation software (VMD, GROMACS, YASARA, PYMOL) ; Studying the model system of interest ; Performing the necessary modifications to the structures; Determining what sort of simulations to run and how to vary system parameters; Analyzing simulation results; Learning to use various tools to complement the analysis. Intern 2: Worked on project focused on determining the structure and function of HsdR's C-terminal domain.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016, and TO APPLY, click here: Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic|
Asociación de Salud Integral (ASI)/Clinica Familiar Luis Angel Garcia (CFLAG)
Location: Guatemala City, Guatemala
ASI (Asociación de Salud Integral, Association for Comprehensive Health) is a non-governmental organization with 25 years of experience managing a variety of health programs. ASI originated as the parent organization for the Clínica Familiar “Luis Angel García,” an HIV specialty clinic within Guatemala City’s General Hospital. Its initial mission was to provide medical care to people living with HIV and to increase HIV awareness through prevention and the defense of the human rights of those living with HIV. Some of their past accomplishments are: 1) HIV clinic. The Clínica Familiar has cared for 4,215 HIV infected adults since 1988. Currently they provide anti-retroviral therapy to 2,250 men, women, and children. Last year alone, the clinic had 35,000 multidisciplinary consultations including medical care, nutritional evaluation, and psychological services. The clinic has been a model for comprehensive care in Guatemala and throughout Central America. In 2012 over 23,500 HIV tests were performed; 17,000 of these were done as part of the prenatal screening program at General Hospital. Thanks to their mother-to-child HIV transmission prevention program, there have been no children born with HIV infection at the General Hospital in the past two years; 2) Diagnostic Center. Their microbiology and molecular biology laboratory has been recognized as a reference laboratory for fungal and mycobacterial infections in Guatemala. They receive specimens from public hospitals, HIV clinics outside the city, and private laboratories. Last year 14,500 specimens were processed in their lab, representing patients from their clinic, rural HIV clinics and private laboratories; 3) National HIV hotline. The national AIDS Hotline (1540) emerged early in the epidemic in response to the public’s need for HIV related information. Operating since 1992, it is the only HIV hotline in Guatemala. In 2012 and 2013 they received 507,376 calls of which 6,794 were received by their operators; 4) Continuous Education for Health Care Professionals. They have developed an e-learning HIV/AIDS course; this has allowed them to train and certify 92 health care professionals who are now providing care to HIV patients in rural clinics and; 5) Research and Development. Their R&D unit focuses on quality improvement in the care provided by CFLAG. Their research department has been responsible for multiple conference presentations and publications in the international medical literature.The selected IIP interns will have the opportunity to create their own research project, which does not need to be strictly clinical, biomedical, or scientific in nature. Also, the IIP intern will have access to patient interactions to include in his or her research. This project should be thought out carefully prior to the start of the internship. Students who apply should make an appointment with IIP Director Luisa Duarte-Silva to review medical prerequisites. In addition, applicants must submit an additional essay with their application that describes the research project they intend to carry out under the supervision of a Princeton faculty member. This IIP internship is ideal for pre-med students with Spanish skills. Students with an academic interest in medicine, anthropology, psychology, and/or nutrition are also encouraged to apply. Four placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns. Fluency in Spanish is required. This internship is offered in partnership with the Program in Global Health and Health Policy and can be used by GHP juniors for completion of the GHP Summer Research Requirement (please check the appropriate box on your application). View a Powerpoint presentation (.pdf) by a past intern.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Observed clinical rotations; headed own research project
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: CFLAG|
Locations: Rome, Italy; Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia; Pokhara, Nepal
Bioversity International undertakes, encourages, and supports research and other activities on the use and conservation of agricultural biodiversity, especially genetic resources, to create more productive, resilient, and sustainable harvests. Its aim is to promote the greater well-being of people, particularly poor people in developing countries, by helping them to achieve food security, improve their health and nutrition, boost their incomes, and conserve the natural resources on which they depend. The organization is active in over 100 countries worldwide, with more than 300 staff working from some 20 country offices. It is one of the 15 centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Bioversity’s headquarters are located just outside Rome, Italy, in Maccarese. Bioversity staff includes specialists in agriculture, forestry, information science and technology, socioeconomics, law and policy, finance and administration. Through the IIP internship program, Bioversity offers invaluable on-the-job training under the guidance of established experts in genetic resources, communications, and policy and law practices that encourage the production of public goods. IIP interns will be assigned to research projects and will learn to work as part of a project team and will gain a broad understanding of issues in international agricultural research for development, in particular regarding sustainable conservation and use of agricultural biodiversity for food and agriculture. IIP interns will typically gain experience in carrying out desk studies, literature searching, compilation and analysis of information, database work, and writing reports, papers, and public awareness materials.See listings in Placements by Region for specific descriptions of internships at the various locations.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: Bioversity Malaysia|
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: Bioversity Nepal|
Center for Structural Biochemistry, University of Montpellier
Location: Montpelier, France
The general objective of the Center for Structural Biochemistry (CBS) is to carry out research at the forefront of structural biology and biophysics as a means to reveal the fundamental physical mechanisms underlying biological activity and its regulation and, where possible, to exploit this knowledge in the conception of new therapeutic strategies in human health and disease. The selected IIP intern will be involved in one of the various research themes developed in the lab. One placement has been created for an International Internship Program (IIP) intern.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): My supervisor was working on a project to cure Hepatitis C. He already had the basic idea of what kind of molecule he needed for the project, so two people pursuing a masters in chemistry and I worked together to produce molecules. Because there were only two hoods and because some steps of the reactions would need to go for a long time, some days were very busy while others were much slower. Much of the chemistry was similar to what students do in labs in Princeton classes: turning carboxylic acids into esters, creating urea, turning esters back into carboxylic acids and adding amines. However, the chemicals were more powerful and the molecules themselves were much bigger and more complex.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: Center for Structural Biochemistry, University of Montpelier|
Council of Scientific Institutional Research (CSIR)
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
About: The CSIR is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development, and implementation organizations in Africa. Constituted by an Act of Parliament in 1945 as a science council, the CSIR undertakes directed and multidisciplinary research, technological innovation, and industrial and scientific development to improve the quality of life of the country’s people. The organization is committed to supporting innovation in South Africa to improve national competitiveness in the global economy. Science and technology services and solutions are provided in support of various stakeholders, and opportunities are identified where new technologies can be further developed and exploited in the private and public sectors for commercial and social benefit.
The Earth Observation Research Group is a leading group that researches remote sensing of the environment in South Africa. Its core mission is to: 1) develop new remote sensing-based products and applications combining existing and new sensor technologies and in situ data in a novel manner; 2) integrate the new generated knowledge in monitoring systems for the improved use of natural resources and decision-making processes. The research uses LiDAR, SAR, and optical systems at various scales to map tree structure, biodiversity, vegetation productivity, nutrient content, water cycle and develop models to improve understanding of spatio-temporal dynamics of ecosystem services. This IIP placement provides IIP interns with the opportunity to conduct research on remote sensing in South African landscapes. Four placements have been established for IIP interns.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Researched the effect of atmospheric turbulence on optical systems such as orbital angular momentum carrying Laguerre-Gauss beams and Long Distance Bessel Like Beams using a Spinning Pipe Gas Lens. Presented findings at the 2012 IONS-Africa student conference and published results in the Journal of Optics.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: Council on Scientific and Institutional Research (CSIR)|
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations
Location: Rome, Italy
Based in Rome, Italy, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information. They help developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry, and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. In previous years, IIP interns have interned in the Fisheries and Aquaculture section and the Economic and Social section where they have worked on projects related to post-harvest practices and trade, price domain statistics, and topics related to structural adjustment and management of fishing capacity. Placements for summer 2012 include the Statistics Division. IIP candidates with a background or interests in economics and statistics, policy, natural resource management, and sustainable development are encouraged to apply. Working knowledge of French or Spanish would be an asset as would prior experience with agricultural, environmental, or related statistics. Four placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Intern 1: Organized side events for the 38th FAO Conference, where representatives from 191 member countries attended; Composed a 50-page handbook on “Setting Up and Running a Co-management Body in Vietnam,” which will be distributed to Vietnamese fishermen to guide them on how to better manage their fish landing sites with local governments; Initiated revisions on the proposal of World Bank's $10M project on "Securing Biodiversity in China's Dongting Lake Protected Areas"; Translated official documents on illegal fishing from English to Chinese. Intern 2: Update a country-specific index of fisheries, which a previous intern had made. For example, this meant reading all of the published country reports (and in-process reports) for how much they included fisheries, and other social indicators Intern 3: Develop programs to systematically reformat, analyze and incorporate data from different UN databases into the FAO STAT Database in Pesticides. Develop programs to systematically process questionnaires from member countries. Analyze past data. Intern 4: Cleaning data sets, generating new variables using STATA to find insight about small family farms. / Compiling data from FAO publications, country agricultural surveys and World Bank public expenditure reviews to create charts, graphs and media for use in the main body of the text and the statistical annex.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 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, The Australian National University, is focused on using space-based observations to study changes on Earth. With strong backgrounds in geodesy, the researchers in the group are studying a wide range of topics including crustal deformation (tectonic drift, earthquakes), glacial isostatic adjustment as well as climate-related topics such as sea level rise and melting of polar ice sheets. Space-geodetic missions such as satellite altimeters (Jason-2, Envisat, IceSAT), space gravity (GRACE) and positioning systems (e.g. GPS) provide the observations for these studies. The research involves generating numerical models and processing the data such that estimates of these geophysical signals can be made. We know that Antarctica and Greenland are melting because of the satellite altimetry and GRACE missions, we know the global pattern of sea level rise only because of the satellite altimetry missions. Three placements have been established for IIP interns.
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, developing and assessing different types of models for certain processes. The work is computationally intensive and the IIP intern could be involved in writing software, processing data, deriving estimates, interpreting and evaluating the results. Previous IIP interns have worked on projects that have been submitted for publication with the intern as a co-author.
Qualifications: Strengths in maths/physics are essential for this IIP internship.View a PowerPoint presentation (.pdf) from a past intern.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: Geodynamics Group, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australia National University|
Indian Institute for Cerebral Palsy
Location: Kolkata, India
Internships at the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy (IICP) will provide a practical experience in disability- related issues, particularly in persons who have cerebral palsy and other neuromotor conditions that lead to lifelong disability. IICP offers services across the life-cycle from newborn babies aged to adults over 50 years of age. It works within the context of an institution and in the community--in urban slums and rural areas of the state of West Bengal. IICP has a multi-disciplinary professional team of therapists, teachers, and social workers who work in close partnership with persons with disability and their families. Through its different services and training programs, IICP seeks to facilitate awareness among persons with disability and their families of equal rights and opportunities and to assist them in gaining access to all aspects of life in the community. IICP’s assistive technology center demonstrates the close collaboration between developers of technology and users. Possible projects for IIP interns will be: Teaching children and adults with disability; physiotherapy/occupational therapy--assessment and management of CP; collaboration with the National Resource Center for Augmentative and Alternative communication; collaboration with the Ankur Advocacy and Empowerment Group; vocational Training; adult day and short stay respite services; family services; social work; projects in Jugnu, a playschool for economically disadvantaged children aged 2-6 years. Interns can choose one or more services in which they will be placed. Four placements have been created for the International Internship Program.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: Indian Institute for Cerebral Palsy|
International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Location: Accra, Ghana and Kathmandu, Nepal
About: IWMI is an international scientific non-profit organization that undertakes world-class research to help improve water management in developing countries. IWMI’s Mission is to provide evidence-based solutions to sustainably manage water and land resources for food security, people’s livelihoods, and the environment. Two placements have been established for IIP interns. Intern responsibilities: The interns will be placed 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 for assessment, based on face-to-face interviews; 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.
View a Powerpoint presentation (.pdf) by a past intern.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Intern 1: Wrote software in the R programming language to help manage input and output to and from the SWAT water modeling package; Drafted policy briefs from lengthy research reports to present to public officials; Helped write the text for an informational guide. Intern 2: Wrote new Office brochure; reached out to government/NGO/press officials for a TV launch/publicity event; edited subtitles for their English TV series; data entry and basic linear regressions on excel; organized a file system for Office data.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: International Water Management Institute (Ghana)|
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: International Water Management Institute (Nepal)|
Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE)
Location: Shanghai, China
About: 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. Three placements have been established for IIP interns.
Intern responsibilities: This year, 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 IIP interns may also conduct research for JUCCCE's mayoral training programs. The research the IIP interns produce will be used in the curriculum during the training classes which take place bi-annually. IIP 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 IIP 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. IIP 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, as well as create memes to virally share the message of the importance of sustainability. IIP candidates with social media and online data analysis are encouraged to apply.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Worked on urban development proposal for 10,000 people and created movie. Wrote 20 page paper on sustainable eating choices. Edited website.View a PowerPoint presentation (.pdf) by a past intern.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: JUCCCE|
Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization
Location: Goettingen, Germany
The Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization is a research institute for investigations of complex non-equilibrium systems, particularly in physics and biology. Its founding history goes back to Ludwig Prandtl who in 1911 requested a Kaiser Wilhelm Institute to be founded for the investigation of aerodynamics and hydrodynamics. As a first step, the Aeronautische Versuchsanstalt (now the DLR) was established in 1915 and then finally the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Flow Research was established in 1924. In 1948 it became part of the Max Planck Society. In 2003 it was renamed to Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-organisation. It is one of 80 institutes in the Max Planck Society (Max Planck Gesellschaft). The institute has four departments conducting research in the following areas: nonlinear dynamics, fluid dynamics, pattern formation, biocomplexity, and dynamics of complex fluids. IIP interns will work on tasks related to the experimental and theoretical projects of the Institute. IIP candidates with interests in physics, biology, math, and natural sciences are encouraged to apply. Four placements have been established for International Internship Program (IIP) interns.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: Max Planck Institute|
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Metabolic is a cleantech development and systems consulting firm. They design and implement holistic and replicable systems for agriculture, cities, and industry. In their work they focus on: building new products and seeding new companies devoted to providing self-sufficiency; providing systemic environmental consulting to companies and governments; transforming communities and urban infrastructure to self-supporting and sustainable; and expanding a software engine to model environmental solutions and find symbiotic opportunities. IIP candidates with interests in biotech, cleantech and software projects are encouraged to apply. While Metabolic welcomes candidates with non-technical backgrounds who would contribute to education programs, design products and collaborations with entrepreneurs, candidates with a strong technical background and a passion for sustainability would be preferred. Four placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns. View a PowerPoint presentation (.pdf) by a past intern.
In their Amsterdam office, IIP interns will contribute to one or more of the following projects:
- Metabolic Academy - Metabolic Academy is Metabolic’s education arm. They work primarily with children from 10 - 18 to teach them environmental science, systems thinking, clean technology, and applied science. Students work in hands-on environments to learn by doing. Activities of IIP interns include: Assisting the design of programs and program materials; Assisting the education of students through hands-on activities; Building relationships with international partners and working on sustainability education and STEM programming (Science, technology, engineering, mathematics); and building relationships with local and national parties focused on sustainability education, interactive exhibits, and science programs.
- Symbioticulture - Symbiotic Agriculture, or Symbioculture, combines the best elements of permaculture with mycology, clean technology, and aquaculture. It focuses on maximizing agricultural production using closed-cycle design, sustainable technologies, layered cropping, and biological synergies that replace pesticides. Activities of IIP interns include:
Designing experiments for bio-processing of human and organic waste; Designing experiments for agriculture production using aeroponics and layered agriculture; Constructing prototypes and implementing chosen designs; Carrying out experiments and writing reports; and working with the funding team to apply for the appropriate R&D funds.
- Strategic Consulting - Metabolic works with cities and companies to fundamentally transition the way they operate towards a more circular and sustainable model. They provide service packages called Urban Metabolisms, which helps cities design and prepare for new urban infrastructure. They also provide a service around disruptive innovation that helps new and established companies, as well as sector and industry-related stakeholder groups, incorporate the latest technology and business models into a more sustainable strategy and set of operations. Activities of IIP interns include: Research in many topic areas; Analysis of large quantities of data; Material flow analysis; GIS analysis and mapping; Stakeholder management assistance; and visioning regarding urban development and company strategy.
- Cleantech Integration & Technical Consulting - Metabolic works on conceptualizing and implementing ecological engineering that make neighborhoods, buildings, and other built-environment projects self-sufficient for their own resources. The process involves modeling systems and applying proven clean technologies in an integrated package that fit well together and are appropriately scaled. Activities of IIP interns include: Systems modeling and analysis; Technology analysis and research; Supplier relationships and Stakeholder analysis.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: Metabolic (the Netherlands)|
Middle East Scientific Institute for Security (MESIS)
Location: Amman, Jordan
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/biohazard outbreaks/radiological accidents, the localization of best practices on nuclear security and the testing of infrasound technologies to be used for the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty verification regime. This IIP internship is flexible in the sense that the IIP intern can be involved on a number of different issues. IIP interns will be assigned specific tasks but will also have a choice to pursue other work that is related to MESIS's mission. IIP work responsibilities will include: arranging, planning, and implementing major international conferences, training programs, and scientific experiments. The IIP intern’s involvement may cover budgeting, logistics, PR, 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. IIP 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 IIP interns have helped implement major international conferences at MESIS. IIP candidates with a background in international affairs, public policy, development, Middle East studies, human or hard sciences, management, marketing, and a specific interest in science and technology or broader interest in the role that science and technology can play in furthering regional stability are encouraged to apply. Basic Arabic would be an asset but is not required. Two placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: Middle East Scientific Institute of Security Studies|
Newcastle University, Institute of Neuroscience
Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England
The Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Newcastle works in the novel field of connectomics and authored the first review in this area (Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2004). Interns will be involved in pilot studies or ongoing studies in the field of Neuroinformatics. The Institute is interested in using computational tools to understand mechanisms leading to brain diseases, diagnose brain diseases, and predict what intervention would be most beneficial for an individual patient. Topics include the analysis of neuroimaging or electrophysiology data, developing tools for network analysis, and simulating brain activity and development. Interns will be involved in ongoing research and might become co-authorson journal manuscripts. Even though programming and statistics skills are highly beneficial for such projects, a keen interest in understanding how the brain works as a network is the key component of a successful intern. Projects are available in the following areas for IIP interns: (1) Simulation of dynamics and development of large-scale human neural networks involving high-performance computing, cloud computing, and grid computing; (2) Analysis of structural and functional brain connectivity in human subjects; in particular of patients with developmental disorders leading to schizophrenia and (childhood-onset) epilepsy; and (3) Development of novel tools for neuroimaging and connectome analysis. Visit http://www.biological-networks.org/ to learn more about the School of Computing Science’s research. Three placements have been created for the International Internship Program. This internship is offered in partnership with the Program in Global Health and Health Policy and can be used by GHP juniors for completion of the GHP Summer Research Requirement (please check the appropriate box on your application).
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP interns): Intern 1: Working on the assigned research project (usually coding in Matlab); attending weekly lab meetings; preparing final report. Intern 2: Building a database for epilepsy patient data as a medical aid for clinicians to extract features from recordings and search for similar recordings based on comparison of features or metadata. The project involved designing the system and programming all the different pieces of the puzzle. A significant portion of the programming was done in MATLAB for extracting particular features for EEG recordings and MySQL was used for designing the database. I also used Perl and HTML to build a web application that interfaced with MATLAB and the database.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: New Castle University|
Pasteur Institute, Department of Cell Biology and Infection
Location: Paris, France
Since its creation in 1887, the Institut Pasteur has become famous throughout the world as a symbol of science and French culture. For 120 years, its foundation has contributed to the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases through research, teaching, and public health initiatives. The Institute enjoys an independent status and has numerous other assets, with its research laboratories, technological platforms, teaching center, and medical center all located on one campus in the heart of Paris. The IIP intern will participate full-time in an ongoing research project in molecular genetics. The laboratory in which the intern will be placed is interested in deciphering the molecular and cellular mechanisms of bacterial invasion of host cells. Therefore,the host laboratory has developed several novel approaches to investigate the intimate interactions between the host and invading pathogens in single cells in space and in real time developing novel microscopic techniques. We will employ our innovative, single-cell based, microscopic approaches to elucidate the apparent contradictory effects of multiple secreted effector proteins processes. French is not required but would be an asset. One placement has been been created for an International Internship Program (IIP) intern.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: Pasteur Institute, Department of Microbiology|
Semmelweis University Medical School
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Founded in 1769 as the Medical Faculty of what was then the University of Nagyszombat, Semmelweis University is the oldest medical school in Hungary. The Faculty became an independent medical school after World War II and has developed into a university that teaches medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, health sciences, health management, as well as physical education and sport sciences. This University is widely recognized as one of Europe’s leading centers of medicine and health sciences, combining innovation and a time-tested tradition in three main areas: education, research, and health care. It is also one of the largest health care institutions in Hungary, covering approximately six percent of the nation’s health care needs. IIP internships with Semmelweis University Medical School provide access to different laboratories at the university to learn about ongoing research, help in the experiments and carry out mini-projects, such as data collection and/or analysis, literature search, help in drafting scientific papers. IIP interns will be matched with professors and researchers (mentors), based on their interest and availability of mentors. It is anticipated that the IIP interns can spend time in at least four different labs, if this is their preference, or they spend more time at one place. Research areas available for this IIP internship include, but not limited to biology, biophysics, chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, pathophysiology, anatomy, nanomedicine. IIP candidates with interests in biology and/or basic medical sciences are encouraged to apply. After successful completion of the program, students will be awarded a dedicated certificate of achievement. Three placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns. This internship is offered in partnership with the Program in Global Health and Health Policy and can be used by GHP juniors for completion of the GHP Summer Research Requirement (please check the appropriate box on your application).
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Read laboratory research articles; Helped analyze experimental data; Ran trials for liposomal characterization experiment; Learned to use atomic force microscopy technology
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: Semmelweis University|
Stiftung Solarenergie Philippines
Location: Manila, Philippines
Stiftung Solarenergie (StS) Philippines is a social enterprise organization that strives to combat rural poverty by providing all off-grid villages with access to innovative technology solutions powered by solar energy. One in four Filipinos lack access to electricity. The vast majority of these 25 million individuals live in isolated coastal and mountainous regions across the country. StS Philippines is engaged in illuminating off-grid households via solar home lighting systems, installing community-level solar applications such as computer labs and water pumps, empowering beneficiaries through education and capacity building, and mobilizing citizen-sector support for efforts to eradicate energy poverty. StS catalyzes change by leveraging both market-based as well as philanthropic resources, working in tandem with social businesses and community-based organizations to ensure sustainable impact at the grassroots level. IIP interns will assume significant responsibilities and gain the opportunity to support ongoing community development work at the grassroots level. The responsibilities of the IIP intern will include working on projects related to designing, piloting, and evaluating household and community level solar energy solutions, such as the design of solar homes (lighting, radios, phone charging, TV, fan, refrigerator), solar community learning centers (computers and educational content), and solar lamp rental facilities. Also, IIP interns can contribute to the communication and publicity of advocacy campaigns that aim to mobilize resources and raise awareness on rural electrification issues. This placement is ideal for IIP candidates interested in economic and community development, the environment, technology and social enterprises. Online media, graphic design, and video editing skills would be an asset but are not required. Two placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Dealt with mapping out unelectrification for regions of Philippines to prioritize company strategy for regions to target / -Piloted and configured new solar unit product to aid in diversification of solar product portfolio; eventually demoed solar products.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: Stiftung Solarenergie, Philippines|
Location: London, U.K and Sydney, Australia
TerraCycle is a green business that collects non-recyclable post-consumer waste and transforms it into new eco-friendly products or 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 offers a comprehensive internship program with meaningful and substantial work, supervision and performance feedback, and "learning coffees" on TerraCycle topics. 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. In addition, the intern will 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 platy an important role in assessing logistics, offering recommendations for strategy improvement, and researching and coordinating with manufacturing partners.
University of Edinburgh, School of Chemistry
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
The School of Chemistry (SoC) is part of EaStCHEM, the joint Chemistry Research School of the University of Edinburgh and St. Andrews University. EaStCHEM scored highest in the U.K. in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (meaning that its research is ranked highest in the country). Within the SoC, there is research being carried out in a wide variety of areas. The primary research area is in measuring and understanding redox potential in cells. Intern responsibilities may include designing or synthesizing a new reporter that can be used to study redox processes in cells or using systems biology and computational approaches to interpret and model redox processes in cells. This is an extremely interdisciplinary area where a keen interest in biology/medicine is required as well as an understanding of chemistry. In previous years IIP interns have been responsible for designing and synthesizing new reporters that can be used to study redox processes in cells; using systems biology and computational approaches to interpret and model redox processes in cells; developing new MALDI imaging techniques to image distributions of metabolites in cells and tissues; or developing new catalytic strategies for cheap and environmentally friendly synthesis. IIP candidates with interests in chemistry, biology, or electrochemistry are encouraged to apply and should be comfortable working in an organic chemistry lab. Experience working in an organic chemistry lab would be an asset. Four placements have been created for an International Internship Program (IIP) interns.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Intern 1: Determining optimal reaction conditions for iron catalysis of nitroarenes. Intern 2: Prepared mouse brain and kidney samples for MALDI imaging, ran MALDI imaging on samples, analyzed data to see how oxidized and reduced lipids were distributed over tissue samples. Intern 3: Two primary responsibilities: creating a mapping of redox-dependent pathways in a cancer cell (involved mostly literature research) and developing nanoshell-based intracellular pH sensors.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: University of Edinburgh, School of Chemistry|
University of Oxford, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine
Location: Oxford, England
The MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM) at the University of Oxford is one of the world’s premier institutes where basic research in cell and molecular biology is applied to the improvement of human health. Located next to the John Radcliffe Hospital, clinician/scientists and basic researchers work hand in hand with clinicians in the hospital to tackle both rare and common diseases. The WIMM incorporates programs on blood diseases and stem cell disorders (leukemia, lymphoma, and thalassaemia); immunological disorders (HIV AIDS, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and eczema); cancer (bowel and breast); infectious disease (malaria); and a wide range of genetic diseases, including abnormalities of facial development and disorders of the neuromuscular junction. IIP interns will join in the basic and medical research being undertaken at the WIMM providing an introduction to the new revolution in molecular medicine. Three placements have been created for the International Internship Program. This internship is offered in partnership with the Program in Global Health and Health Policy and can be used by GHP juniors for completion of the GHP Summer Research Requirement (please check the appropriate box on your application).
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Intern 1: I worked on a project to create a circular RNA to serve as a microRNA sponge with a graduate student. He would help plan the experiments and tell me what needed to be done, but I was responsible for carrying out all of the experiments. I used a variety of different lab techniques, including cloning, tissue culture/transfection, and FACS. At the end of my time I presented my data in a lab meeting. Intern 2: Conducted flow cytometry experiments to characterize surface marker expression patterns in leukemic stem cell populations at different time points of acute myeloid leukemia.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 and TO APPLY, click here: University of Oxford, Weatherall Institute|
University of Queensland, Institute of Molecular Bioscience (IMB)
Location: Brisbane, Australia
The Institute for Molecular Bioscience's mission is to decipher the information contained in the genes, proteins, and molecules of humans, animals, and plants. Since its establishment in 2000, the IMB has earned a reputation as one of the Asia Pacific region's leading research institutes. By understanding the development process and aspects that go awry in complex diseases, IMB aims to develop pharmaceutical and cellular therapies, technologies, and diagnostics to prevent or treat such diseases.
The IIP intern will worki in medicinal chemistry aiming towards molecules of therapeutic application. The IIP intern will conduct synthetic organic chemistry of small heterocyclic drug-like molecules, purification (HPLC) and characterization (LCMS, NMR, Mass Spectrometry). Although the IIP intern will be primarily conducting synthetic chemistry, there will be significant opportunity to learn about multiple areas of drug discovery and related biology through the multidisciplinary team within which the intern will work. Two main areas of interest: (1) novel therapies to treat inflammatory disease (asthma / type 2 diabetes / inflammatory disorders of the brain) via targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome and (2) drugs against pathogenic fungi, in particular, the human pathogenic fungus cryptococcus neoformans a common cause of fatal fungal meningioencephalitis in immunocompromised individuals. Additional background information on the two research areas:
- Novel Therapeutics for Anti-inflammatory Disease: Working as part of an international multidisciplinary team in the field of synthetic medicinal chemistry, the intern will synthesize novel members of an exciting compound series, targeting the NLRP3 signalling cascade, aimed at reducing levels of a potent pyrogen interleukin 1β. Such molecules have significant utility in inflammatory diseases including asthma, type 2 diabetes and also in disorders of the brain, Parkinsons and Alzheimers. The lead molecule is showing excellent activity in murine models and IMB is looking to advance the series. There is a unique opportunity to learn and develop synthetic, purification, and analytical skills contributing to the series for future patent and/or publication and the intern will be included on this as appropriate to the work conducted. The student can expect to complete his/her project with an excellent understanding of the structure activity/property relationships within the series and the underlying biology of the disease area.
- Drugs against pathogenic fungi: The human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans is a common cause of fatal fungal meningioencephalitis in immunocompromised individuals, typically AIDS patients and persons undergoing immunosuppressive treatment such as transplant and chemotherapy. In sub-Saharan Africa, cryptococcosis is the second most deadly infectious disease behind only malaria. Infections of humans caused by pathogenic fungal species such as C. neoformans are highly refractive to pharmacological intervention due to similarities in our shared eukaryotic physiology. Antifungals are few in number, often expensive, frequently toxic to humans, and have notoriously variable efficacy across the spectrum of human fungal pathogens.The aim of this internship is to develop promising new antifungal lead compounds. An approach of particular interest is exploiting differences in essential enzymes that are well characterized in both the human host and the fungal pathogen to gain selective antifungals through structure based drug design. IMB has already conducted an extensive screening campaign where a number of hits have been selected for further work. This project will require a talented and creative synthetic chemist willing to work across multiple scientific disciplines to progress the project.
IIIP candidates with experience in synthetic organic chemistry and an interest in therapeutics are encouraged to apply. Laboratory experience particularly organic synthesis work is required. One placement has been established for an International Internship Program (IIP) intern.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 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
This project is part of the Biological Engineering Group in the Institute of Physical Biology. IIP interns may choose from a few existing projects. In addition, projects that align with the IIP intern's own interests may be arranged. Here is some brief background on the Group's main project: Frontiers of biology lie now in exact evaluation of biological processes, whether the field is called Systems Biology, Biological Engineering, or another name. There is currently discrepancy between processes observed in living cells, for example by microscopy, and models that are based mainly on biochemical observations--that is, interactions of proteins and metabolites extracted from the cell culture and examined in the test tube. There are many examples of non-homogeneous behavior in cells that have essential functional meaning and may be crucial for discrimination between living and non-living matter. In contrast to the prevalent approach the Group examines the macroscopic properties of cells and uses a stochastic systems approach from control engineering for model building. For that a new mathematical method of point information contribution and point information entropy hsa been developed, which is implemented into software used for evaluation of processes in living cells. IIP intern responsibilities will include work in one or more of the following areas: 1) cell monolayer cultivation, cell time-lapse microscopy, simple data evaluation all with relation to cancer research, implantology, intestinal tract diseases, etc. 2) software testing, participation in image analysis or chromatography data analysis software development, building of data storage systems; 3) mathematical modeling of biological processes, fluid flow description in bioreactors by CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) codes, laboratory Couette-Taylor bioreactor testing, design of experiments to identify model parameters, proposal of new experimental protocols for essential biotechnology processes. At the end of the summer, the IIP interns will participate in a project presentation. IIP candidates should have an academic background in experimental or theoretical physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, informatics, or mechanical, chemical, or electrical engineering. Basic chemical or biological laboratory skills, teamwork skills and computer knowledge are recommended. Skills in Spanish, Czech, German, or Swedish would be an asset but are not required. Three placements have been established for International Internship Program (IIP) interns.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Tested and calibrated microscope equipment to determine its optimal functional limits; analyzed data from these tests using the lab's computational analysis protocols; and made a final poster and presentation.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2016 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.
World Wildlife Fund Madagascar & Western Indian Ocean Program
Location: Antananarivo, Madagascar
About: The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is a non-profit organization that has become one of the largest environmental organizations in the world. There are more than 1,300 WWF conservation projects underway around the world, the vast majority of which focus on local issues. WWF teams up with local non-profit agencies and 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). To reach this goal, the project has four main components: the development of a regional strategy for biodiversity and marine resources management through an eco-regional approach; the support of existing and newly created MPAs; the development of a Regional Forum of MPA managers; and an awareness and communication program related to the importance of MPAs. One placement has been established for an IIP intern.
Intern responsibilities: This year's IIP intern will be placed in their communications department. IIP 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: IIP candidates should have interests in biology and journalism. IIP candidates with interests 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.
IIP-IN Argentina (Puentes Abroad)
In partnership with Puentes Abroad, IIP is offering an increased number of opportunities in Buenos Aires, Argentina! Puentes Abroad offers opportunities for undergraduate students to gain significant professional and cultural experiences in Argentina. IIP-IN Argentina aims to provide a customized and meaningful internship in Buenos Aires based on the interests and goals of selected interns. Each IIP-IN Argentina placement includes personalized professional development, engaging cultural activities, and constant support before, during, and after your experience.
Qualifications: The following opportunities are ideal for students who are eager to learn outside the classroom and who enjoy creative problem solving and tackling new experiences with enthusiasm and an open mind. While there are no language requirements, students with Spanish proficiency may have more options for project work.
Area of Placement: Environment and Sustainability
Candidates selected for an IIP-IN Argentina - Environment and Sustainability placement will be matched with the internship site most aligned with their interests and skills.
Possible examples of internship sites include:
- International environmental nonprofit that seeks to use advocacy and non-violent demonstrations to raise awareness for and find solutions to environmental problems at the national and global levels.
- Nonprofit organization that promotes the social and workforce inclusion of mentally disabled individuals through environmental education.
- Socially-conscious business that responsibly produces fresh fruits and vegetables with a positive impact on farm communities in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and the U.S.
- Nonprofit focused on promoting environmental awareness and recycling through education in schools.
- Social organization devoted to educational innovation and youth empowerment.
Area of Placement: Medicine and Public Health
Candidates selected for an IIP-IN Argentina - Medicine and Public Health placement will be matched with the internship site most aligned with their interests and skills.
Possible examples of internship sites include:
- International public health nonprofit that seeks to improve the health and well-being of children while assisting families that have a child receiving medical care for a serious injury or illness.
- Argentine public health nonprofit with a focus on HIV/AIDS that works to broaden access to information, education, prevention, research, and health services in the field.
- Nonprofit that promotes humanized health care, trains maternal infant health care agents in research methods, and promotes collaborative work and research in the field of maternal infant health.
- Start-up with the mission to crowd source data about child-raising through the creation of iPhone applications that allow parents to track their children and share and analyze the data.
IIP-IN Portugal (Lisbon Abroad)
In partnership with Lisbon Abroad, IIP is offering an increased number of opportunities in Lisbon, Portugal. Lisbon Abroad provides meaningful and rewarding professional development internships that include cultural immersion activities. Each IIP-IN Portugal placement provides an excellent opportunity for interns to gain work experience abroad, improve their Portuguese language skills, and experience Portuguese life and culture firsthand. IIP-IN Portugal will provide customized placements to each accepted intern, depending on the intern's interests and qualifications. Not all placements will require Portuguese!
Area of Placement: Health Care
IIP-IN Portugal will place students in a variety of health-related institutions. Candidates selected for an IIP-IN Portugal: Health Care placement will be matched with the internship site most aligned with their interests and skills.
Possible examples of internship sites include:
Clínica Dentária do Estoril- This clinic believes that oral health care deserves our full attention at any age. Their services and specialties include: oral surgery, dentistry, endodontics, dental aesthetics, implantology, occlusion, pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, periodontics, fixed prosthodontics, removable prosthesis, oral prevention, rehabilitation, dental bleaching, dental aesthetics, oral hygiene, RX panoramic, and fissure sealants.
Qualifications: Students interested in public health, medicine, and dentistry should apply. Work responsibilities will depend on classes taken and general knowledge and experience in these fields. Basic Portuguese and/or Spanish skills would be an asset.