BioTrain students dive into biotech internships

This summer marks the fifth year of BioTrain, HudsonAlpha's signature internship program. More than 250 students, rising high school juniors through graduate students, applied for 27 available positions.

"We have a great diversity this year, in both background and age," said Adam Hott, Ed.D., coordinator of educational outreach. 

Anna Willis is a University of Alabama senior who is working on a double major in biology and chemistry. She heard about BioTrain from a friend. Willis landed an internship with resident associate company Serina Therapeutics.

"It takes an incredible amount of effort, time, talent and resources just to get a drug to clinical trials," said Willis, who plans on attending medical school after graduating from UA. "Since I want to be a physician, I think it is important to understand the pharmaceutical industry. I am so glad that I am getting to see this part of the healthcare world."

Robert Chalmers, a junior at Mississippi State University, was selected for a bioinformatics position with HudsonAlpha's Genome Sequencing Center.

"My project focuses on developing methods to improve the overall quality of plant genome assembly," said Chalmers. "The informatics work I am doing is not readily available in my department at Mississippi, so this is allowing me to experience a career I would otherwise have very little exposure to."

BioTrain gives interns invaluable experiences alongside some of the best talent in the biotech industry. In return, interns are expected to give their best efforts. Each was required to attend the one-week biotech bootcamp before heading off to assigned HudsonAlpha labs, departments or resident associate companies. Students are also required to attend weekly BioTrain meetings focused on networking and other professional development issues.

This year's program wraps up July 31 with the annual BioTrain poster session. The public is invited to attend the event in the institute atrium from noon – 2pm.