Interns Discover New Passions and Career Paths

Research intern Mark Alonzo spent the summer studying a protein-coding gene that may increase the risk of ovarian cancer.

Commenting on this complex research project, Alonzo said, "I had a blast of a summer."

That blast came courtesy of the Cedars-Sinai Research Internship Program. Launched in 2014 by Academic Programs in Human Resources, the Research Internship Program gives undergraduate, graduate and medical school students an opportunity to participate in research with faculty mentors. During the past academic year, nearly 175 interns from U.S. and international institutions contributed to research in 11 departments across Cedars-Sinai.

For budding scientists ages 16 to 18, the Minors in Research initiative was created in 2016. The seven-week program pairs high school students with faculty mentors who provide hands-on bench experience conducting scientific studies. This summer's session included 27 interns; eight worked with investigators at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute and 19 interned with faculty organizationwide.

Both internship programs culminated on Aug. 3 with the Fourth Annual Research Internship Program Poster Day held at Harvey Morse Auditorium. Some 50 interns presented their research projects to members of the academic community and an expert panel of judges.

"The quality of posters is just outstanding. In fact, this is one of the best poster presentation events I've ever attended," said William Parks, PhD, professor of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, associate dean for Graduate Research Education and scientific director of the Women's Guild Lung Institute.

William Parks, PhD, professor of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, associate dean for Graduate Research Education and scientific director of the Women's Guild Lung Institute with research intern Sophia Idso. Idso won an award for her poster.