UW Students work with infectious disease experts for summer internships

Working Together to Train the Next Generation of Scientists

Article republished with permission from IDRI:

SEATTLE, July 17, 2017: With a focus on training the next generation of global health scientists, the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) is partnering with the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) to provide four internships in summer 2017. The interns – all University of Washington students – will spend 10 weeks at IDRI paired with a mentor, progressing toward a specific set of scientific goals during their internship. IDRI’s internships are unique in offering students the ability to work alongside infectious diseases experts in a state-of-the-art lab while getting insight into basic research as well as product development.

“We are very pleased to work with WSOS for our summer internship program as the values and mission of WSOS align well with those of IDRI,” said Ingrid Bell, IDRI’s Director of Human Resources. “Both of our organizations are focused on offering people – often those who are economically disadvantaged –  the foundation to achieve their goals. For WSOS, that comes by offering educational opportunities; for IDRI, it comes through the opportunity for improved health.”

“The IDRI and WSOS partnership provides our Scholars the opportunity to further their careers and access to hands-on learning,” said Naria Santa Lucia, WSOS Executive Director. 

“We are sincerely grateful for this partnership and the opportunities offered to our students.”

Sydney Russell, a UW senior majoring in Public Health, and Kyle Krieger, a 2017 UW graduate with degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology are interning in IDRI’s Drug Discovery Program under the mentorship of Alyssa Manning, PhD, and Heather Wescott, PhD.

“My motivation for participating in this research internship at IDRI stems from my passion for microbiology, infectious diseases and public health,” said Russell. “Each class I take within these fields sparks a new passion in me and I cannot wait to be a part of a laboratory outside of the classroom.”

Jasmine Fuerte-Stone, a 2017 UW bioengineering graduation, is being mentored by Sasha Larsen, PhD, in IDRI’s Preclinical Group, while Chester Pham, a UW senior majoring in Chemical Engineering, is working alongside Stacey Qi, PhD, in the Formulations Group.

“IDRI’s commitment to developing products to improve health globally truly resonates with my career goals,” said Pham.

While the internships prove useful to the students by offering real-world experience, they also benefit the mentors as well.

“I‘ve always enjoyed being able to mentor other scientists, especially by illuminating some of the intangible skills that are helpful for a career in science,” said Manning. “But what drives my work at IDRI – helping others by advancing global health – aligns with my desire to work with those who may not otherwise get a feel for what the it is like to work in a lab. Providing the opportunity for an intern to experience fluorescence microscopy for the first time is definitely rewarding.”

About IDRI: As a nonprofit global health organization, IDRI (Infectious Disease Research Institute) takes a comprehensive approach to combat infectious diseases, combining the high-quality science of a research organization with the product development capabilities of a biotech company to create new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines. Founded in 1993, IDRI has 125 employees headquartered in Seattle with nearly 100 partners/collaborators around the world. For more information, visit

About WSOS: The Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) is a unique public-private partnership working to attract more local students to the high-demand fields of science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and healthcare, helping them to earn bachelor's degrees and launch their careers in-state. WSOS is on track to support nearly 15,000 students by 2021. 

Fifty-nine percent of all-time funded scholars are first-generation college students and fifty-seven percent are female. More than three-quarters of 2015 graduates are employed in their field or seeking an advanced degree. Of graduates working in their field of study, nearly ninety percent remained in Washington state. For more information, visit


Media Contact: Lee Schoentrup: 206.858.6064,


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