Photos and Testimonials from Internship Challenge Participants
Dr. Wendell Yang, President of Imgen BioSciences, with interns Shirley Hou and Abby He.
"It was my great pleasure to supervise and work with each of the four interns at our company, Imgen BioSciences, through the MLSC-sponsored internship program over the past two years. I am very satisfied with the work that they conducted and much appreciative of this program and the mutual benefits that it offers to the company and the interns. I am also particularly glad with the training outcomes of the interns; two were each offered and accepted to full-time positions at the NIH and a private biotech company, and one moved on to pursue a Masters Degree during or immediately after the completion of their internship." – Dr. Wendell Yang, President of Imgen BioSciences, Inc.
Based in Waltham, Mass., Respiratory Motion is a medical device company that received U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance for its ExSpiron system in October 2012. This tool monitors ventilation and has the potential to serve as a leading indicator of respiratory failure during and after surgery. Respiratory Motion has recruited eight interns over the past three years through the Internship Challenge. Mike Lalli and Lynn Desmarais are two of those talented interns that helped with clinical testing, and eventually human trials, which led to FDA approval.
Desmarais, of Natick, Mass., was a student at Massachusetts Bay Community College, pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Biological Engineering, when she began her work at Respiratory Motion. “They took a chance on me, and I took a chance on them – it could not have worked out better!” she said. Desmarais, like Lalli, started her internship by working on the clinical trials of the ExSpiron prototype. She was soon put in charge of managing the product literature and graphic design for the product. “In a start up, you just can’t sit around and wait for someone else to do something – you have to just stand up and do it yourself.” That kind of determination is what brought Desmarais from intern to a marketing and clinical associate at Respiratory Motion after she graduated.
"The MLSC Internship Challenge program has been a terrific experience for Myomo. In fact, we were so pleased with our last intern that we hired him upon graduation. Many thanks for helping to facilitate the process of connecting good candidates to open positions." – Steve Kelly, Founder, President & COO, Myomo, Inc.
Western New England University graduate student and Internship Challenge intern Brian Dutra won first place in the Old Guard Oral Presentation Competition held at the 2012 American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ (ASME) International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition held in Houston, Texas. He claimed the top prize for his presentation on “Acoustophoretic Separation of Lipid Particles from Red Blood Cells,” a process of removing microscopic impurities from blood using ultrasonic standing waves.
Brian was a summer intern at FloDesign Sonics and ultimately became an employee of the Wilbraham-based company.
Lt. Governor Timothy Murray visits Biosurfaces and meets their MLSC Interns.
On October 18, 2012, Lt. Governor Timothy Murray stopped by Biosurfaces, a medical device company in Ashland, Mass. Biosurfaces staff and interns showcased their patented biomaterial technologies and spoke about their participation in the MLSC Internship Challenge. Biosurfaces has worked with eight interns over the past four years.
On Thursday, August 30, 2012, SouthCoast participants in the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s Internship Challenge gathered at UMass Dartmouth’s Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center to present on their summer internship experiences. The event brought together several of the region’s life sciences companies, which hosted interns funded by the Center.
From left to right: Dr. Lou Petrovic, Director, ATMC; Paul Vigeant, Assistant Chancellor for Economic Development, UMass Dartmouth; Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, President & CEO, MLSC; Jane N. Staples, Director, Cooperative Education & Internship Program, UMass Dartmouth; Ryan H. Mudawar, Senior Program Associate, MLSC.
From left to right: Susan Windham-Bannister, President & CEO, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, (former intern) Phayhean Soo, Project Engineer, Albright Technologies; (former intern) Veasna Nhem, Project Engineer, Albright Technologies; Bob Waitt, VP of Business Development, Albright Technologies
"We were fortunate to have two interns this past summer, [and one] has proven to be a great addition to our team and was recently promoted to a project engineer. All four of our engineers started as interns, two of them as part of the Internship Challenge. Their hard work and dedication contributed to a 30% growth in 2011." – David Comeau, President, Albright Technologies
"My introduction to HepatoChem was the result of a serendipitous meeting I had with one of the company’s business contractors. The small bioinorganic chemistry startup was looking for an intern to help with the work brought on by their rapidly growing client base and I was looking for a post-graduation job that would be challenging and impactful. The funding supplied by the MLSC Internship Challenge was what allowed me and HepatoChem to take a chance on each other, beginning a relationship that has developed into long-term employment.
I feel lucky to be back in Massachusetts where there is such a wealth of resources available to small life sciences companies such as HepatoChem. The work that we do aids pharmaceutical companies in the production of innovative and life-saving drugs, but were it not for the support of organizations such as the MLSC, we would be unable to perform our services or conduct our research. This research, in turn, has given me the valuable opportunity to improve my skills and gain insight into the fascinating and ever-pertinent world of pharmaceuticals development. Such a symbiotic connection between young scientists and young businesses could only exist with the help of the MLSC Internship Challenge." – Elizabeth Lebling, University of Chicago, AB ‘12
Pictured: UMass Dartmouth Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center (ATMC) interns and staff.
“This summer internship has been much more than I expected. Working at a biotech start-up has opened my eyes to the great potential there is in the Life Sciences industry right here in Massachusetts.” – Juan Betanzo, Babson College
“The program has opened a great opportunity for us to offer interns some practical scientific experience while they make some significant contributions to our programs. I am very happy the program is achieving its goal to develop the Life Science resources of Massachusetts with these internship opportunities to our future scientists.” – Walter Lunsmann, Chief Operating Officer, VivoPath, LLC
“Comprising of five full-time employees, the company at which I interned allowed me to thrive through regular contributions to several different projects and has introduced me to the intricacies of running a biopharmaceutical company. This experience has inspired me to pursue a career in the business sector of the biopharmaceutical industry.” – Renee McKell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Diagnostics for All has greatly enjoyed participating in the Internship Challenge program. The interns bring enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to our research projects, and they have readily become invaluable, contributing members of our team. We’re grateful that the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center supports such a valuable program.” – Dr. Matthew Stewart, Senior Scientist, Diagnostics for All
“The Internship Challenge has given me an excellent opportunity to work with the most welcoming, knowledgeable, and team-oriented group of scientists. I feel that I have been given a chance to be part of something bigger than myself and I appreciate every minute of it.” – Crystal Smith, Bridgewater State University
“My internship at TRA360 has offered an unparalleled opportunity to learn first-hand about my area of study. I couldn’t be happier.” – Ryan Connors, UMass Lowell
Pictured from left to right: Nicholas Hammond, Intern, Bach Pharma, Mark O Henry, CEO, Bach Pharma, Susan Windham-Bannister, President & CEO, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Megan Sperry, Intern, Bach Pharma.
“We are very pleased with the biology and analytical students that have worked with us. The program gives us the opportunity to hire talented students that we would otherwise not have access to. It’s a win-win situation: we are extremely impressed with the contributions the students make and its great work experience for them.” – Shana Dobson, Operations Manager, Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals
“Interning with NuOrtho Surgical has enhanced my understanding in both the marketing and financial fields. The opportunity to work with such upbeat and intuitive professionals has been an exceptional introduction to the business world. I feel as though I have already become a more confident and skilled individual thanks to the practical training this internship has provided.”
– Tamer Plourd, UMass Dartmouth
Pictured: Five Star Companies staff with MLSC interns.
“The [internship] is very exciting because I have had the opportunity to interact with people involved in all aspects of the industry, including research, clinical settings, and business. I think that working at Bach Pharma has given me greater insight into the industry as well as given me skills that I can carry into my future career.” – Megan Sperry, Boston University
Pictured: Ligon Discovery staff with MLSC interns.