Photos and Testimonials from Internship Challenge Participants

  • Ras Labs, LLC

    “The Internship Challenge gave me a wonderful experience working for a small business in a niche area of research. My internship with Ras Labs gave me a great hands-on experience to develop valuable skills for my future career. I was given the opportunity to collaborate with the scientists at Ras Labs, while also working independently to make a difference in their product development. I couldn’t have asked for a better internship experience, and I am thankful have been hired by Ras Labs at the conclusion of the program.”

    – Simone Rodriguez

    “As a participant in the MLSC Internship Challenge, Ras Labs was able to secure key product development support prior to our ability to hire additional members to the team. Ras Labs had the opportunity to work with a highly skilled and dedicated scientist over the course of the summer, and was given the time to make it possible to hire her at the conclusion of the internship. The Internship Challenge gives young scientists and startups the opportunity to evaluate working relationships that may not otherwise be possible. I would highly recommend this program.”

    – Eric Sandberg, CEO of Ras Labs

  • Access Vascular, Inc.

    “Earning access to a database of eligible interns from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center enabled us to quickly identify two qualified Engineering students with skills that perfectly matched our company’s needs. It was impressive how quickly they learned the requirements and then took on increasing levels of responsibility. Thanks to their efforts, our early stage, medical device company was able to advance the critical, preliminary development stages faster than anticipated.

    After the program term finished, one of the interns transitioned into a full-time role with our company and the other was hired by another life sciences company that was impressed with the experienced he gained.  The financial support and talent pool makes the internship challenge a beneficial opportunity for emerging companies looking to improve capital efficiency and engage resources primed to be future life science professionals.”

    – James Biggins, President of Access Vascular

    Felicity

    “As an intern at Access Vascular, I helped develop the core material technology that will address a clinical need that effects many patients. Along with extensive material experimentation, I also helped to design and build the equipment with which we make, process, and test our devices. Working for a start-up right out of college was an absolute game-changer for me; not only did I have a great deal of responsibility in a newly established lab, but was also able to play a role in the early stages of the company. I worked closely with incredible scientists and engineers who let me express my own ideas on how to push our technology forward. My experience at Access Vascular through the MLSC Internship Challenge showed me how much hard work goes into establishing a life sciences company, especially for technologies that directly benefit human health and efficiency in the healthcare system. I am now an Associate R&D Engineer at Access Vascular, and am grateful for the strong foundation that my internship gave me for a career with Access Vascular and for future endeavors in the life sciences field.” 

    – Felicity Meyer

  • Ginkgo Bioworks

    Ginkgo Bioworks_Lily_website
    Lily Fitzgerald working in Ginkgo Bioworks labs on applying engineering principles to making new and useful organisms (Photo courtesy of Barry Chin)

    “During my internship at Ginkgo Bioworks, I built custom biological organisms on a factory scale, used manufacturing principles to improve the science of genetic engineering, and worked to streamline and automate laboratory processes. This internship gave me incredible, first-hand exposure to cutting-edge industry science. I learned an entirely new field, and ultimately obtained a full time position at Ginkgo, where I continue to grow and learn as an Engineer on the Build team. The work at this company is so inherently interdisciplinary, requiring me to think about physics, computer science, chemistry, and biology simultaneously and to collaborate with brilliant specialists across many fields. I know that my time in the multi-disciplinary UMass iCons Program has been instrumental to my success at Ginkgo, and I continue to draw on the skills and attitudes I acquired as an iCons student. MLSC, UMass iCons, and Ginkgo Bioworks have given me an incredible start to my career in science.”

    – Lily Fitzgerald, UMass Amherst, class of 2014

  • Persomics USA, Inc.

    “I’d like to thank the MLSC for the support we received under the internship program. It gave us the opportunity to find excellent scientists, bring them in as interns and finally take them on as full time hires. We really appreciate that opportunity.”

    – Neil Emans, Chief Executive Officer, Persomics USA, Inc.

  • Unchained Labs

    “During my time at Unchained Labs, I had the opportunity to work closely alongside two post-doctoral colleagues who served as mentors for me as I collected data from the product instrument and devised novel methods of removing background noise from sample readings. I also had the fascinating opportunity to observe up close the acquisition of AVIA Biosystems by Unchained Labs. My internship gave me an excellent view into the exciting challenges and day-to-day life in industry, and allowed me to further develop and apply the skills I have learned in the classroom. I am grateful to Unchained Labs and the MLSC for this opportunity, and also to the UMass iCons Program, which prepared me to hit the ground running in my internship through training at UMass Amherst on real-world problems in multi-disciplinary teams.”

    – John Vetrano, UMass Amherst Class of 2016

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