HIP 2017 Symposium a fitting conclusion to a summer of discovery

August 11, 2017

Photo of HIP 2017 symposium









The Harvard Stem Cell Institute internship program celebrated its annual symposium on Thursday, August 10th at Harvard’s Maxwell-Dworkin Building. The thirteenth cohort of HSCI summer undergraduate interns shared the results of their last 10 weeks of research to an enthusiastic and supportive audience. Bill Anderson, Faculty Director, and Maureen Herrmann, Administrative Director of the program, welcomed family, friends and lab members to this annual event. HSCI hosted 36 interns, six of them international scholars, in our research labs this summer.

Through competitive application, the HSCI HIP internship invites undergraduate students from around the world to conduct research at Harvard facilities. Although the program is most tangibly a 10-week experience dedicated to hands-on work in an HSCI lab, it is really an invitation to learn and do as much as possible to develop interests in scientific research. The top candidates are matched with a lab where the program’s mission is achieved by providing ‘real world’ biomedical research experience, one-on-one mentoring, and a curriculum dedicated to critical thinking.

During their opening remarks, Bill Anderson and Maureen Hermann recognized the continued support and engagement of HSCI faculty who submit substantive projects for these budding scientists to work on during the summer program and who deliver seminars during the weekly HIP classes. They also thanked the postdocs in these labs, who worked hard to hone their mentoring skills with these undergraduates. They concluded their remarks expressing their gratitude for the participation, enthusiasm, respect and honesty demonstrated by all the 2017 interns and wished them success in their future endeavors.

Interns also had words of praise for their mentors, with whom they established relationships of mutual admiration and respect. “What  is so exciting about this internship is we actually get to work with the scientists who are setting the guidelines for stem cell science,” said Jorge Diego Martin-Rufino of the University of Salamanca, Spain who worked with Jerry Ritz at the DFCI Cell Manufacturing Facility and Laurence Daheron in the HSCI iPS Core Facility. Jorge praised Laurence as the single best mentor he’s ever had and looks forward to potentially developing some long-term projects with her when he returns to Spain.

JeeWoo Kang, a rising junior at MIT, praised the program on three fronts. “I’m really grateful for HIP because the program directors put in a lot of time to organize great seminars and lectures. Since I’m new to stem cell research, I’ve been really appreciative of the great mentorship at my lab. But the most special thing about HIP is being with such a passionate group of peers who really care about the scientific method, and who are supportive of each other, and who have a lot of fun together.” JeeWoo will continue working through the upcoming academic year in the Brian Wainger Lab at MGH.

Wrapping up his summer in the Jessica Whited Lab, HIP intern Alex Wall will be returning to North Carolina State University profoundly influenced by his summer experience.  “The HIP program is so important to me because I got to perform stem cell research and see what the life of a researcher is like, full-time. I got to spend my time with other interns who are incredibly intelligent and from all around the world so I was exposed to a number of different perspectives. And we had a stem cell class on Fridays where we learned a lot of really cool stuff that I don’t think I would ever be introduced to back at home. We got to experience life in a big city which is amazing and this whole experience is just amazing because it’s so many things wrapped into one and I don’t think I’ll be able to get anything like this anywhere else. I am super grateful for that.”

N.B. HIP 2018 will run from June 4-August 10, 2018.  A call for summer projects will be issued in December.

HSCI sincerely thanks the following PIs for their participation:

Cris Bragg (MGH), Vijay Sankaran (BCH), Tracy Young-Pearse (BWH), Penelope Hallett (McLean), Jay Rajagopal (MGH), Kevin Eggan (HU), Raul Mostoslavsky (MGH), Carla Kim (BCH), Don Ingber (Wyss), Rich Sherwood (BWH), David Scadden (HU and MGH), Amar Sahay (MGH), Alan Cantor (BCH), David Breault (BCH), Brian Wainger (MGH), April Craft (BCH), Rich Lee (HU), Shobha Vasudevan (MGH), Dan Tenen (BIDMC), Jerry Ritz (DFCI), Jessica Whited (BWH), Lee Rubin (HU), Richard Gregory (BCH), Zhigang He (BCH), Amy Wagers (HU), Khalid Shah (BWH), Iain Drummond (MGH), Eric Liao (MGH), Wolfram Goessling (BWH) Doug Melton (HU).

HIP would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors:

The Vranos Family | Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research | Thermo Fisher Scientific | Cellular Dynamics International, a FujiFilm Co.

See also: 2017, Feature Story