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Sansum Diabetes Research Institute Launches 2012 Summer Internship Program

Four advanced college students will gain both academic and practical experience

The Sansum Diabetes Research Institute is pleased to announce the launch of its annual summer internship program, featuring four academically gifted college-aged students.

The program, which began Monday, continues through Aug. 10. Funding for the program comes from the Coeta and Donald Barker Foundation endowment fund, in addition to endowment funds from the Helen Close Foundation, the Parson Foundation and the Robert Demott Fund.

“We are very excited about the highly qualified 2012 summer interns, who were selected from a competitive field of over 50 applicants,” Interim Administrator Alison Okada Wollitzer said. “The internship program offers advanced undergraduate students both academic challenges and practical experiences in the field of diabetes. We see the program as raising the next generation of caring physicians skilled in managing and preventing diabetes in their patients.”

The Sansum Diabetes Research Institute Summer Internship Program provides superior undergraduate students majoring in science and interested in a career in medicine with an intensive educational experience focusing on diabetes but including broad exposure to medicine as a career path.

Directed by Board Trustee Sandra Tillisch Svoboda, interns participate in a weekly journal club where they learn to critically evaluate the scientific literature, attend presentations on all aspects of diabetes given by staff, visiting scientists and practicing physicians in the community, shadow doctors in a wide range of specialty practices, and participate in discussions of current issues in medicine.

Virtually all Sansum Diabetes interns have gone on to medical school or a health-related academic career. Some former interns have specialized in endocrinology and diabetes. They become experts in diabetes research and treatment protocols, thus expanding Sansum Diabetes Research Institute’s reach and helping to improve the lives of people with diabetes around the world.

Students in the 2012 class have strong backgrounds in the biological and physical sciences.

Jane Fazio is attending the University of California at Davis with majors in neurobiology and physiology and a minor in Chicano/a studies. She will graduate in December. She aspires to become a primary care physician with a focus on public health and preventive medicine.

Thomas Hennings, who attends Colorado State University, is majoring in biomedical sciences and minoring in Spanish and biomedical engineering. He will graduate in December and plans to pursue a graduate education in biomedical engineering.

Benjamin Li recently graduated from Harvard College with majors in chemistry and physics and a minor in music. He wants to become a physician with a focus in research.

Montgomery Simms is attending the University of Oklahoma, where she is majoring in zoology and minoring in medical humanities; she expects to graduate in 2013. She wants to be a physician and contribute to diabetes research.

— Sarah Ettman-Sterner is the director of communications for the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute.

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