This coming summer will provide a unique experience for a few Dixie State University students.
By partnering with the Dixie Regional Medical Center and Stanford University, DSU, for the fourth time, has put together a summer internship program for its students to participate in undergraduate research at Stanford in Palo Alto, California.
Students will have the chance to “work directly with world-class scientists in biomedical research,” Biology Adviser Douglas Sainsbury said.
Lincoln Nadauld, the executive director for Intermountain Precision Genomics, is the man behind creating this internship. Upon finishing his fellowship at Stanford, Nadauld came to work for Intermountain Healthcare in St. George at DRMC. Since being in St. George, he has helped organize the summer internship for students at DSU.
While entering the fourth year of the internship, DSU has had the chance to send seven students to participate in this prestigious program. These selected students have received a stipend that is equivalent to 10 weeks of laboratory work that includes housing and transportation, Sainsbury said.
In order to be selected, students pass through several interviews containing persons from each partner of the internship. As part of the executive advisory board, Erin O’Brien, associate professor of biology, and her colleagues on the board will send the best students from the biology department for the internship.
O’Brien said the board is looking for upperclassmen, interns who will be able to represent DSU well, and those who want to earn their medical or doctoral degrees.
Annie Bowles, a senior biology major from Cedar City, said participating in this internship was a dream come true. When she found out she had been selected as one of the interns last summer, she said she had cried because she was so happy.
“When I first heard about it, I thought it was a joke because the idea that [DSU] students could go to this world-renowned university and study for 10 weeks was so insane to me,” Bowles said.
All seven students, Sainsbury said, have comeback with a lot of enjoyment.
Sainsbury, in reference to Nadauld’s purpose for setting up the summer internship, said, “Even though you got into [Stanford] does not mean that somebody at DSU isn’t on the same intellectual level.”
To help students prepare for this internship, DSU has organized a molecular biology boot camp in May. This boot camp, Sainsbury said, is to teach students some techniques so they have a small background in biomedical research.
O’Brien said this summer internship is popular among students. She estimated that of those students who are qualified or pre-qualified for the internship, roughly 30-50 percent apply.
“It’s nice that you are only competing against your peers at [DSU],” O’Brien said. “It makes it much less competitive than some of those programs that are done on a national level. You could easily have thousands of people applying for this same position.”