**Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining strict social distancing and safety protocols on campus, we are currently not able to offer the Texas Biomed/SNPRC Summer Internship.
Please check back in the fall of 2021 to for updates on the 2022 internship program.**

  • Summer Virtual Internship

    Summer Virtual Internship

    Purpose:  

    • Prepare interns for a future career in STEM
    • Provide interns with best practices, tools and techniques on career planning, communications, and leadership to use in their professional career
    • Expose interns to research at both SNPRC and Texas Biomed

    Expected Outcomes for attendees:

    • Increased confidence levels in career planning
    • Learn proven, best practices for communication, leadership, and career preparedness
    • Learn how to communicate your strengths in a professional setting
    • Develop your own toolkit to be prepared for various scenarios encountered in your future career
    • Expanded understanding of research areas at SNPRC and Texas Biomed as well as career paths within bioscience and veterinary medicine
  • Internship Requirements

    Summer Virtual Internship Requirements

    • Expectations for Certificate of Completion:
      1. Attend 8 out of 9 sessions
      2. Show engagement within each session attended
      3. Complete all necessary pre-session activities prior to the day’s session
      4. Complete all pre and post assessments
      5. Engage in Texas Biomed Virtual Internship LinkedIn Group, including commenting on and posting content
  • Program Dates

    Program Dates

    The Summer Virtual Internship Program runs 2-3 hour sessions weekly starting June 1 thru July 27.

  • Eligibility Criteria

    Summer Virtual Internship Eligibility Criteria

    Summer internship students must be currently enrolled in an accredited United States University and have completed their first year toward a bachelor’s degree or their first year of a professional degree. Individuals who already have a degree and are not currently enrolled in a program are not eligible.

    Applicants should express a serious interest in obtaining exposure to research areas of focus within Texas Biomed and SNPRC as well as associated career options. Additionally, applicants should express their commitment to career and professional development toward a career in a STEM environment.

    All interested students must complete an application.

    The first 20 qualified students who apply will be selected by program leadership to participate in the program.

    This is an unpaid internship.  Interns will receive a certificate of completion if they meet the necessary requirements.

  • Faculty and Personnel

    Ricardo Carrion, Jr., Ph.D. aims to advance the vaccine and therapy development specifically for hemorrhagic fever, an illness caused by viruses from distinct families, many of which have no cure, and for which no vaccines are available. The team uses the maximum containment biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory to safely study those pathogens.

    • Ebola virus, Marburg virus
    • Common marmoset nonhuman primate infectious disease models
    • Advanced development of vaccines for hemorrhagic fever viruses
    • New detection methods for bioterror agents

    Dr. Carrion has more than 15 years of experience in microbiology and parasitology.


    Chris Chen, Ph.D. is working on generating the first gene-targeted nonhuman primate model for liver cancer using CRISPR and transposons. In addition, he is developing a New World Monkey model of chronic hepatitis B (HBV) infection to replace the previously used chimpanzee model. Dr. Chen is also Head of the Research Services Component within the Southwest National Primate Research Center.


    Elizabeth Clemmons, DVM After graduating from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Clemmons completed a laboratory animal medicine residency and nonhuman primate fellowship at Emory University and Yerkes National Primate Research Center. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. Dr. Clemmons currently works with multiple nonhuman primate species in support of a variety of research projects including infectious disease and high containment studies. She also investigates factors that influence colony health and management strategies related to breeding and research animal populations. In addition to clinical and research related animal work, Dr. Clemmons devotes time to community outreach in support of biomedical research and raising awareness about compassion fatigue.


    Lisa Cruz Communications and Public Relations team focuses on content development by creating news releases, podcasts, videos, scientific articles and social media content. Her team provides newsletter production and collateral development in support of scientific programs and institutional branding efforts. Provides marketing content to research areas and Development areas.


    Marcel Daadi, Ph.D. is an expert in regulated translational research and has developed therapeutic neural stem cell lines (NSC) for clinical use in Parkinson’s  disease,  stroke, and to target brain tumors in both industrial and academic settings. He discovered a novel technique of engineering these stem cell lines from pluripotent human embryonic stem cells and continues to develop this therapeutic cell line for clinical use.  Dr. Daadi came to Texas Biomed in 2014 and is the team leader for the SNPRC Regenerative Medicine and Aging research unit. Results from his studies are the foundation of translational research and help to repair diseased or injured brain through transplantation of highly purified NSCs and stimulation of internal repair mechanisms.


    Edward Dick, DVM is a board-certified veterinary pathologist with more than 25 years of experience in biomedical research, laboratory animal medicine, and pathology. Pathology is not only a medical and diagnostic discipline, but also a scientific discipline that focuses on the examination of tissues to diagnose disease and studies the etiology and pathogenesis of disease. Dr. Dick evaluates pathologic changes in multiple species in both a diagnostic capacity and in a variety of research studies, specifically toxicity, infectious disease, diet, metabolism and obesity-related pathology.


    Diako Ebrahami, Ph.D. leads a cross-disciplinary quantitative biology program. His lab combines data and expertise across multiple quantitative and experimental science disciplines such a genetics, virology, cancer, evolution, bioinformatics, mathematics, and statistics to develop and test novel hypotheses. Current studies in Dr. Ebrahimi’s lab focus on identification and quantification of molecular processes in viral and cancer immunity and evolution.


    Patrice Frost, DVM As a senior veterinarian, she provides support to the SNPRC for its clinical and research programs. In this role, she has developed and instituted a baboon breeding program and research protocols to support the study of fetal programing and stem cells. Dr. Frost has managed macaque breeding programs at several facilities in various configurations from time-mated pairs to large group enclosures. In addition to extensive experience in breeding and health management of macaques, she has extensive experience in transferring entire populations of non-human primates (macaques and chimpanzees) between institutions. She was instrumental in the planning of the transfer and re-socialization of three entire populations of macaques (600 rhesus and 1,500 cynomolgus) to our existing facility.


    Olga Gonzalez, Ph.D. looks at gross and microscopic findings help to further define and characterize natural and infectious diseases of non-human primates. These findings help identify animal models of human disease, improve clinical management of individual patients, aid in disease surveillance and inform large-scale colony management decisions.


    Shannan Hall-Ursone, DVM joined SNPRC in 2015. She is highly skilled in veterinary and surgical procedures, Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), and in supervising animal care. Dr. Hall-Ursone has been working as a veterinarian for the past 10 years and has experience in working with a variety of different species, including non human primates. Her effective communication and training skills allow her to successfully supervise teams while ensuring adherence to all safety and compliance programs. Dr. Hall-Ursone assists other investigators in scientific research projects and is developing her own research program.


    Mark A. Hammargren, CPP oversees the  Texas Biomed Security Services team & Security and Emergency Operations Center with day-to-day implementation and execution of Facility Security & Emergency Preparedness Plans directly supporting Biomedical Research and Animal Care programs.


    Marty Heaner Information Technologies team implements Network, PC, and HPCC support activities for OSX, Windows, and Centos OSS.


    Deepak Kaushal, Ph.D and his research team have made major discoveries about how Mtb interacts with the primate lungs, within the granulomas, and have provided fundamental insights into the biology of the pathogen as well as the host environment. The establishment of a robust macaque model of inhalation TB and TB/AIDS has allowed the platform to be used for testing of novel vaccine candidates as well as drugs against TB..


    Smita Kulkarni, Ph.D. Several genetic factors can modulate HIV-1 disease. However, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) across populations have shown that some of the identified disease-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms are in non-coding regions. Due to lack of functional explanation of the observed associations, these host genetic factors cannot be currently utilized as vaccine or drug targets. We are interested in studying non-coding gene variation that modulates HIV-1 disease.


    Eduardo Meza Sponsored Programs Administration team supports the institute’s  federal and non-federal grants with management duties such as;  financial management, compliance and reporting.  His team ensures Grant Standard Operating Procedures are up to date.


    Mahesh Mohan, Ph.D. Despite viral suppression by anti-retroviral drugs, chronic inflammation/immune activation persists in HIV-infected patients and increases their risks of developing non-AIDS illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases, neurological dysfunction, enteropathy etc. Dr. Mohan and his research team have made significant contributions to the understanding of epigenetic mechanisms underlying HIV induced gastrointestinal dysfunction and more importantly, how these changes can be inhibited/reduced using anti-inflammatory cannabinoids. His research focuses on several different aspects of HIV/SIV pathogenesis.


    Corinna Ross, Ph.D. laboratory team is developing new phenotypic tools to assess marmoset health and behavior as a biomedical model of human disease. The team integrates behavioral, physiological and molecular markers to explore mechanisms that influence developmental programming, reproduction, obesity, health span and longevity in nonhuman primates.  The development of the marmoset as a translational model for health span and lifespan studies relies on the characterization of health parameters in young and geriatric marmosets. Dr. Ross has completed cross-sectional studies to examine health phenotypes in marmosets for five domains of interest for human health and aging:

    • Mobility
    • Cognition
    • Metabolism
    • Homeostasis
    • Immune function

    Ken Sayers, Ph.D. is a biological anthropologist with broad interests in primate cognition, ecology, evolution, and health. His research has included multidisciplinary approaches to understanding dietary decisions; psychological investigations of memory, communication, and metacognition; and the utilization of nonhuman primate models to address anthropological questions, including human evolution and translational approaches for behavior and neuroscience.  As Colony Administrator, Dr. Sayers contributes to the long-term management of primate resources at SNPRC, studies their population biology, and is active in the Breeding Colony Management Consortium of the National Primate Research Centers.


    Larry Schlesinger, M.D., Ph.D.  and his research team have made major discoveries about the human immune response to pathogens, and he is translating these into host-directed drug discovery platforms. His laboratory studies innate immunity to these infectious pathogens by focusing on their interactions with human mononuclear phagocytes, which are cells that protect the body by ingesting harmful cells, bacteria or foreign particles.  Another focus of Dr. Schlesinger’s work is understanding how the alveolar (air compartments of the lung) environment affects the biology of alveolar macrophages (white blood cells) in ways that directly impact the host response to airborne infectious agents. Alveolar macrophages are considered an important boundary between the body and the outside world. Dr. Schlesinger is also interested in the impact of diabetes on the immune response to M. tuberculosis, susceptibility to infection, and new imaging and drug discovery platforms for mycobacteria.  In the area of aging and tuberculosis, Dr. Schlesinger’s research team is studying the unique signature of the baseline inflammatory monocyte/macrophage in the setting of aging. This type of baseline inflammation is also seen in other disease states, making this research broadly applicable and important to pursue.


    Olena Shtanko, Ph.D. An extensively trained specialist in researching BSL-4 pathogens, Dr. Shtanko has been developing primary cell assays able to replicate disease states to study interactions between viruses and host processes. One of areas of research focus is the role of autophagy, a catabolic process where cellular membranes serve as a source of vesicles whose role is to engulf cell contents for degradation. She found that the autophagy proteins are essential for infection of Ebola virus and related viruses by affecting macropinocytosis, a primary route of virus uptake into the cell. Dr. Shtanko is currently expanding the studies to understand how the pathway facilitates the spread of these viruses within the host.


    Joanne Turner, Ph.D. studies the changes that take place in the immune system during the natural aging process and how those changes can influence both innate and adaptive immune function when infected with M. tuberculosis. The primary focus of Dr. Turner’s aging research is the association of inflammation with susceptibility to develop TB. She also studies immune responses that correlate with an individual’s age-associated susceptibility to reactivate a previously latent infection with M. tuberculosis.


    Veterinary Technicians 

    Tyneshia Camp – Veterinary Technician Manager

    Wade Hodgson – Research Veterinary Technician Supervisor

    Laurie Condel – Clinical Veterinary Technician Supervisor

    This team supervises the veterinary technicians that are responsible for the daily technical work with the nonhuman primates at SNPRC.  The teams provide clinical care for the animals as well as collecting research samples required for the projects.  Members of the team are dedicated to laboratory animal care.

  • Application Process

    Open Feb. 1 thru April 2 at 5pm Central

    Applications for all internship programs can be completed here.

    While completing your application select up to three research areas of focus or career path that you are interested in.

  • Recent Testimonials

    March 10,2021

    “I really appreciate your reference letters for my grad school applications! It’s been over half a year of applying and waiting, but I’m happy to say I got into University of Georgia’s vet school, Purdue University’s vet school, Guelph’s vet school, Royal Veterinary College, University of Edinburgh’s vet school, McGill’s master’s in public health, and Emory’s master’s in public health.
    I know that beyond your letter of recommendation, the VLEAD program helped so much in my communication skills to get to this point.”

  • SNPRC Internship Info