Biomedical Research and Health Internships

Developed to expose our pre-health students to professional research opportunities, the Biomedical Research Internships provide an opportunity for students to learn skills related to research in healthcare today. Interns work with a mentor to conduct basic research in a laboratory or to contribute to the development of a research effort. Interns are expected to become familiar with the research approaches used by their mentors. At the mentor’s discretion, students may: develop a specific project within the research team; have shadowing opportunities with a health professional; and interact with patients and their families through volunteer experiences.

Internship placement sites are listed below. For many sites, we will not be able to confirm whether internships will be in-person or virtual until Spring term. You may email any questions about placements or their requirements to internships@wellesley.edu.

Eligible class years: Sophomores and Juniors

Additional Requirements: In addition to a resume and cover letter, all Biomedical Research and Health internship applicants must submit an unofficial transcript from Workday as part of their application materials. Unofficial transcripts must be uploaded in PDF format to the online application. 

2020

  • Elizabeth Mason '21, Tufts Medical Center & Boston Medical Center, Department of Dermatology, Boston, MA
  • Jessie Huang '21, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Lucinda Li '22, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Riley Choi '22, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Dara Duan '22, Tufts Medical Center & Boston Medical Center, Department of Dermatology, Boston, MA

2019

  • Aliyah Audil '20, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
  • Cecilia Barreto '20, Brigham and Women's Hospital , Boston , MA
  • Connie Chao '21, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
  • Hanamei Shao '21, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston , MA
  • Hannah Klim '20, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston , MA
  • Ifunanya Nwolah '21, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Leila Mahdavi '21, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston , MA
  • Chi Trinh '20, Northwestern University, Ann & Robert Lurie Hospital, Children's Research Institute, Chicago, IL
  • Maya Weber '20, Tufts Medical Center & Boston Medical Center, Department of Dermatology, Boston , MA
  • Michelle Shui '21, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Nina Sachdev '21, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston , MA
  • Sue Lee '20, Tufts Medical Center & Boston Medical Center, Department of Dermatology, Boston, MA

2018

  • Subha Baniya ’19, Boston Children’s Hospital & Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Scarlett Cheon ’19, Boston Children’s Hospital & Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Amy Hsu ’19, Tufts Medical Center, Department of Dermatology
  • Justine Hsu ’19, Boston Children’s Hospital & Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Rachel Kim ’19, Boston Children’s Hospital & Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Maia Lee ’20, Boston Children’s Hospital & Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Victoria Liu ’19, Northwestern University, Ann & Robert Lurie Hospital, Children’s Research Center
  • Georgia Marquez-Grap ’20, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Rheumatology, Immunology, and Allergy
  • Marie Tan ’21, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Chi Trinh ’20, Boston Children’s Hospital & Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Jennifer Yu ’19, Tufts Medical Center, Department of Dermatology

2017

  • Anran (Annie) Li ’18, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Duong T. Doan ’19, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Paige A. Hauke ’19, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Lumi Kinjo ’19, Tufts Medical Center - Department of Dermatology, Boston, MA
  • Sarah S. Moinuddeen ’19, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Charlotte R. Reed ’19, Brigham and Women’s Hospital - Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Boston, MA
  • Hope C. Schneider ’18, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Mayla C. Thompson ’19, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Cindy Y. Zhou ’20, Brigham and Women's Hospital - Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Boston, MA

2016

  • Genevieve Y. Huang ’18, Tufts Medical Center, Department of Dermatology, Boston, MA
  • Hope C. Schneider ’18, Tufts Medical Center, Department of Dermatology, Boston, MA
  • Emily Loucks ’17, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Loren Walensky Laboratory, Boston, MA
  • Eliana Marostica ’18, Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center, Lindsay Frazier Laboratory (Rare Tumors Program), Boston, MA
  • Gwendolyn Towers ’17, Boston Children’s Hospital, Akiko Shimamura Laboratory (Bone Marrow Failure and Myelodysplastic Syndrome Program), Boston, MA
  • Filia M. van Dessel ’17, Boston Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Boston, MA
  • Ronghao Zhou ’17, Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA
  • Haoling (Holly) Zhu ’18, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Anthony Letai Laboratory, Boston, MA

Available Placements: 3  Confirmed.

Boston Children's Hospital is home to the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric hospital. Through a long-standing collaboration between Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's Hospital, outpatient care for children is provided at Dana-Farber's Jimmy Fund Clinic while neighboring Boston Children's Hospital offers inpatient care and pediatric subspecialty consultation. The two institutions function as one to provide a seamless care experience for children with cancer.

Launched under the support of Wellesley’s 13th President, H. K. Bottomly, this internship is housed in a joint program between the Pediatric Oncology Department at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Boston Children's Hospital (BCH). All staff and faculty carry joint appointments and with the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. This Hematology/Oncology program is among the oldest in the country and is internationally recognized for its research in pediatric blood diseases, cancer, and stem cells. 

Read about Holly Zhu ‘18 sharing an insider’s perspective from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. 

What you will learn: The internship provides an opportunity for students to learn skills related to basic, translational and clinical research in pediatric blood diseases, cancer and stem cell biology. The Research Intern will select a faculty mentor from a list provided by the Division and will participate in basic research within this faculty’s laboratory or will participate in developing a clinical research effort. The intern and mentor will determine the specific internship goals. The intern is expected to become facile with the research approaches utilized by their mentor and, at the discretion of the mentor, may develop a specific project with a current member of the research team. The intern will be expected to attend all required training modules, laboratory meetings, and scientific seminars as directed by their mentor. Skills that you will learn and/or expand upon may include:

  • Basic research skills: Basic research is laboratory-based research of normal biological processes and the mechanisms of disease. Skills include the planning, execution, and interpretation of experiments and scientific techniques such as PCR, cell culture and gel electrophoresis.
  • Translational research skills: Translational research is research that transforms scientific discoveries arising from laboratory studies into clinical applications. Skills that you can expect to learn from participation in translational research are a combination of those learned from a basic research experience and a clinical research experience. Although translational research is patient oriented much of it is performed within the laboratory. 
  • Clinical research skills: Clinical research is the study of disease, treatment, and outcome in patients. Skills that you can expect to learn in clinical research include the design of clinical studies, managing databases, and data analysis. Sometimes a clinical research experience may involve direct interviews of patients or family members but often will not involve direct patient contact.
  • Communication and Collaboration: Interns will learn to communicate findings and project progress throughout their research. At the end of the internship, the intern will be required to develop a written report of the project and present to the team.

Who are you? Background in science and/or scientific research is recommended. The ideal candidate will have the following skills or qualities: 

  • Strong interest in medicine, science, and/or laboratory research
  • Willingness to participate in a collaborative environment with limited supervision at times
  • Strong communication skills (oral and written)
  • Organizational and time-management skills
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Intellectual curiosity and creativity

Routine vaccination series need to be up-to-date (MMR, varicella, etc.) or current prior to beginning the internship. Interns should plan to be available for a group orientation with other BCH/DFCI prior to beginning work with their mentor/lab.

Available Placements: 1-2  Confirmed

Tufts Medical Center and Boston Medical Center are two major academic hospitals that serve a disproportionate share of low-income, disabled, elderly and non-English speaking patients in the Boston metropolitan area. The internship is in the Department of Dermatology at each hospital. If two interns are selected, one intern will be based at Tufts Medical Center, and one will be at Boston Medical Center. The internships are overseen by Dr. Michelle Nguyen, the Director of Dermatologic Surgery, who specializes in high-risk skin cancers, and policy and economics research as related to skin cancer care. 

Dr. Nguyen has worked and published with several Wellesley students from prior internships. Read about Lumi Kinjo ’19 and her experience with Dr. Nguyen in 2017.

What you will learn: The Research Interns will work one-on-one with Dr. Nguyen to develop their own research project relating to skin cancer diagnosis and treatment. The project will be tailored to suit the individual intern's clinical interests, areas of desired professional growth and existing skill sets and capabilities. The goal of the internship is to provide students with the opportunity to formulate a scientific question, design a study, conduct data collection and analysis, and write and submit a manuscript on a well defined and feasible project. Examples of prior projects include systematic review on use of artificial intelligence technology in diagnosis melanoma and atypical mole, impact of Tylenol and oral carbohydrate drinks on sense of well being in patients undergoing skin cancer surgery, management of abnormal moles in the elderly population, and impact of medicaid expansion on diagnosis and outcome of melanoma. Skills that you will learn and/or expand upon may include:

  • Teamwork & Intercultural Fluency: Engage in other clinical and research activities alongside diverse patient communities and hospital teams including nurses, medical assistants, surgical technicians, residents, and administrative assistants.
  • Critical Thinking & Analysis: Review medical charts and perform basic biostatistics relating to the project. Regularly revisit ideas, seek new information when necessary, and reconsider and refine the research questions or approaches.
  • Clinical Observation: Learn about surgical management of skin cancer through shadowing physicians in the dermatologic surgery clinic of their assigned institution (25% of total internship hours). Gain a deeper understanding of the clinical environment and career demands of a physician-researcher.

Who are you? Students with a strong interest in medicine and science. The ideal candidate will have the following skills and qualities:

  • Strong work ethnic and reliability
  • Self-motivated and independent
  • Strong attention to details
  • Familiarity with statistical software (e.g. SAS, Stata) and prior experience with clinical care/trials are appreciated but not required.

Available Placements: 1-2   Confirmed

Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital provides superior pediatric care in a setting that offers the latest benefits and innovations in medical technology, research and family-friendly design. As the largest pediatric provider in the region with a 136-year legacy of excellence, kids and their families are at the center of everything they do.

Lauren Pachman, MD, ’57 leads her research team in the intensive study of the clinical and pathophysiology of Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM), a chronic illness in which young children develop a characteristic rash and profound weakness. Over 550 children are enrolled in the Cure JM Program of Excellence in Juvenile Myositis Research, and the latest tools of molecular biology are used to understand the complicated disease process. The focus of the group’s investigation includes:

  • Identifying the sequence of clinical and molecular events immediately following disease onset.
  • Characterizing the damage to the small blood vessels that is central to the disease process.
  • Identifying the specific genes that are associated with resistance to therapy.

Learn more about Victoria Wang ‘16 and her experience with Dr. Pachman’s team.

What you will learn: The Translational Research Intern has a wide spectrum of possible projects which range from laboratory-based “bench” projects to clinical investigations which probe the over 1,000 variables/child. They may also have the opportunity to work with Dr. Pachman’s pediatric rheumatology colleagues, Dr. Megan Curran, Director of Medical Education for the Division of Rheumatology, and Dr. Kaveh Ardalan, allowing excellent clinical exposure. The intern may learn and/or expand upon the following:

  • Research & Analysis: Select a project from a current list of ongoing research; prior to starting the project, they will collaborate with Dr. Pachman to write an experimental plan outlining specific goals, including hypothesis, aims, methods, projected analyses, and any previously-collected preliminary data. 
  • Clinical Exposure: Visit the clinic and learn to recognize the physical and laboratory findings in children referred with weakness and muscle complaints. Analyze laboratory findings and physical symptoms of patients.
  • Collaboration & Communication: Participate in weekly lab meetings and institute-wide conferences and meet other college and medical school research interns. At the end of the summer, interns deliver a presentation about their respective research projects and formulate next steps in the line of investigation.

Who are you? Juniors only; three years of lab experience is required. In-depth knowledge of biology and chemistry is required. The ideal candidate will have:

  • Strong interest in health and clinical research
  • Experience with scientific writing
  • Exposure to genetics and molecular biology is helpful, but not required.

Biomedical Research and Health internship placements require applicants to submit an unofficial transcript as part of their application materials. If nominated, applicants should provide cover letters that highlight any relevant coursework, lab experience, and interests or experiences related to the Pachman laboratory and its research.

Available Placements: 1-2  Confirmed

Rush University Medical Center is a 676-bed academic medical center that includes hospital facilities for adults and children. In addition to patient care, education and research, RUMC stays connected to the local community through the efforts of its students, faculty, and staff. These efforts include health outreach projects in which RUMC collaborates with neighborhood clinics, churches, schools and other organizations to provide health screenings and health information for underserved children and adults. At RUMC, the intern will have the opportunity to work with mentor David Ansell, MD MPH and his team. Dr. Ansell is Senior Vice President for Community Health Equity at RUMC and Associate Provost for Community Affairs at Rush University. He is an internal medicine physician, activist, and author. His recent book, The Death Gap: How Inequality Kills was published in 2017 (with the help of past Wellesley interns!). 

Dr. Ansell leads a wide-array of community-based health initiatives focused on the health of Chicago’s uninsured patient population. Dr. Ansell and his team work closely with the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force, which he helped establish, to decrease health disparities between white and black women in Chicago. The goal of this work is to decrease the disparity by improving the quality of breast cancer screening and care for minority women in the Chicago area. He also works with advocates fighting for organ transplantations for the uninsured.

Learn more about Ika Kovacikova ‘14 and how she found her way to medical school following her internship with Rush.

What you will learn: Community Health Equity Interns will support Dr. Ansell‘s team in their work to address issues related to health care access and health disparity reduction. The intern may learn and/or expand upon the following:

  • Collaboration & the Liberal Arts Approach: Diverse opportunities to be engaged in health and public health, non-profits, community outreach, political advocacy, etc. Throughout the summer, the interns will work alongside Dr. Ansell, RUMC internal medicine faculty, medical staff, community members, and other summer undergraduate interns. 
  • Research & Communication: Support a wide spectrum of projects that range from collaborating on manuscript preparation to interfacing with research participants and community partners in the field. Each intern will work with Dr. Ansell to develop a work plan that outlines goals, anticipated timeline, and final internship products. At the end of the internship, each intern will deliver a presentation about their research and experience.
  • Clinical Exposure: Interns will participate in regular research team meetings and have the opportunity to attend institution-wide conferences, lectures, and trainings.They also have the opportunity to shadow Dr. Ansell in his own primary care practice and at a free-clinic.

Who are you? Sophomores preferred. The ideal candidate will have:

  • Strong research and writing skills required.
  • Flexible, comfortable working independently and taking initiative
  • Ability to work fluidly and competently in racially/ethnically diverse communities
  • A background/perspective in social sciences, particularly in urban studies, is helpful but not required.