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BME EDGE helps PhD student find summer internship

May 7, 2014

Iraj Hosseini, a BME PhD candidate, will spend this summer as an intern at Genentech in San Francisco, a position he found through a group he helped create and co-chairs called BME EDGE (Extramural Development in Graduate Education). His work there will echo what he is pursuing in his lab at the Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering.

“My work here is on developing a molecular-detailed multiscale computational model of the HIV life cycle,” he says. “The model is used to understand how things are perturbed in the host immune system after HIV infection and to design new stem cell-based anti-HIV therapies to achieve a functional cure for HIV/AIDS. At Genentech, I’ll be working on mechanistic modeling of cancer cell signaling and intervention to support translation between preclinical and clinical observations.”

Hosseini found the internship through BME EDGE, which was launched in March 2013 with a $150,000 PhD Innovation Grant from the Office of the Provost. A comprehensive training center, BME EDGE encourages graduate students to explore many career possibilities, both within and outside academia. It promotes this mission through internships, career fairs and other professional development activities.

“EDGE provides a unique opportunity; before students make up their minds they get to experience other job settings and refine their goals. I wouldn’t have had this chance if it weren’t for EDGE. When I was admitted to Hopkins my goal was to be an academician. During my PhD, I became interested in other avenues, and now I want to experience other options and compare them with my original goal. It’s not one or the other; I would like to experience both.”

Students aren’t the only beneficiaries. PhD students are highly valuable, talented and skilled problem solvers. Hosseini notes that companies appreciate students’ ability to quickly learn new information, methods and systems and solve challenging problems. “The internship is thus more fruitful both for the company and the PhD intern.”

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