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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

DCEG Summer Interns Participate in 2015 Recognition and Poster Event

by Kristin Kiser, M.H.A., M.S.

During the summer of 2015, DCEG welcomed 34 students through the Summer Interns program. These students, whose academic levels ranged from high school through post-graduate and medical school, were selected out of a pool of 325 applicants.

2015 Summer Interns

The culmination of the summer experience was the Division’s 17th annual Summer Interns Recognition and Poster Event. The event celebrated the interns’ accomplishments and gave them an opportunity to discuss their research projects with DCEG scientists during the poster session.

The program began with a welcome from Stephen J. Chanock, M.D., Director, DCEG, who thanked the students and mentors for their hard work. He emphasized the importance of a summer research experience, noting that many DCEG investigators originally came as summer students. Emily Vogtmann, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Nutritional Epidemiology Branch (NEB), and one of this summer’s mentors, gave a light-hearted and engaging presentation on her career path, which has taken her around the globe from Finland, to Mexico, to China, and back to the U.S., leading her to pursue her interest in the human microbiome and cancer risk in DCEG.

 Find more information on becoming a DCEG Summer Intern.

 Find more information on becoming a DCEG Summer Intern.

The unique component of this year’s event was the viewing of “I Am – the Faces of DCEG Summer Students”, a short video created by Diane Wigfield, fellowship program analyst, DCEG Office of Education (OE). The project was the brainchild of Jackie A. Lavigne, Ph.D., M.P.H., Chief of OE, and is an extension of a similar NIH project. This video celebrates the Division’s diversity, and the many special characteristics of each intern that impact their unique contributions to our research program. Over 25 summer interns participated, declaring: “I am … a baker; a guitarist; a Native Alaskan…”.

After the presentation of certificates and the traditional photo of the students with their mentors, everyone mingled over breakfast treats contributed by their mentors, followed by a well-attended division-wide poster session. Twenty-five students presented posters, fielding questions from interested DCEG staff.

See a list of Posters and Projects by 2015 DCEG Summer Interns.

“This summer at NCI made me fall in love with epidemiology and research. There are so many resources here, the people are amazing, and the entire SIP program was so supportive. Thank you for an incredible summer!”
—Emma Zhao

DCEG organized scientific and social activities to help create community. Several of the eleven DCEG fellows who participated as mentors also hosted journal clubs for the interns, one on “Studying the Human Metabolome in Cancer Epidemiology,” co-led by Erikka Loftfield, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow, and Jose Ramon (“Ray”) Troche, M.P.H., predoctoral fellow, both in NEB; and another on “The Genetic Architecture of the Human Immune System and Cancers,” co-led by Rouf Banday, Ph.D., and Olusegun (Segun) Onabajo, Ph.D., both postdoctoral fellows in the Laboratory of Translational Genomics. The students also attended special sessions put on by the NIH Office of Training and Education, including scientific lectures and workshops on career topics such as applying to graduate school and returning to NIH as a fellow.

Other highlights of the summer included two workshops presented by Victoria Fisher, M.P.H., communications specialist, Office of the Director. The first was “Communicating Science to the Media,” and the second was “Using Twitter to Enhance Your Career,” presented in collaboration with Diane Wigfield.

Applications for the 2016 summer program will be accepted on the NIH web site in mid-November. Students interested in applying for 2016 summer internships with DCEG are encouraged to learn more about the Division’s research and complete a short summary application before completing the full online NIH Summer Program application.