IID Undergraduate Research Internship Program

The BWH Infectious and Immunologic Diseases (IID) Research Center Internship Program is seeking motivated students interested in pursuing biomedical research on infectious agents and/or aspects of basic immune responses in inflammatory, infectious and autoimmune diseases.

Internship programs at the BRI will provide undergraduate students with a focused and challenging summer research training experience in a cutting-edge science laboratory based out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

 

IID INVESTIGATOR RESEARCH SUMMARIES

James A. Lederer, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Surgery
Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

 

My research group studies how traumatic injuries alter the immune system.  We are an immunology research group that uses mouse models for injury and trauma patient samples to study the effects of injury on immune cells.  In particular, we are trying to understand how trauma upsets immune homeostasis and predisposes people to life-threatening bacterial infections.  We use a systems immunology approach that allows us to specifically identify the cells and mediators that are affected by trauma in an unbiased fashion.  The technologies we use for this research include cytometry by time of flight mass spectrometry (CyTOF or Mass Cytometry), RNAseq,  multiplex cytokine assays, and basic immune cell phenotyping by flow cytometry and ex vivo culturing.  These approaches have  led to the discovery that injury can specifically activate certain T cell subsets and monocytes/macrophages. We recently used CyTOF to  identify defective immune responses to lung pneumonia in injured mice.   In addition to our mouse studies, we also have developed an active human immunology research program that focuses on identifying specific blood immune cell phenotype changes in trauma patients and in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.  The human studies provide a way to compare the trauma response in humans to mice.  This in turn will facilitate the translational impact of the basic immune mechanism studies done in mouse models.  Importantly, these systems immunology studies on trauma and infections are being used as a way to test immunotherapies to restore immune function in trauma patients.  One of our top immunotherapeutic candidates is a particular CpG DNA sequences that actives cells by a receptor called Toll Like Receptor 9 or TLR9.  We found that treating mice with CpG DNA could prevent the development of many of the immune complications associated with traumatic injuries – predisposition to infections, systemic inflammation, and shock.  We are currently testing for related biological activities in human cells.

Ana Carrizosa Anderson, PhD

Assistant Professor of  Neurology
Associate Member, Broad Institute?
Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Lab Website

Dr. Anderson is currently an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, Associate Scientist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Associate Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and core faculty member of the Evergrande Center for Immunologic Diseases. Her laboratory identified the inhibitory molecule Tim-3 as a key regulator of T cell dysfunction in cancer. Prior to working in the field of cancer immunology, Dr. Anderson worked in the field of autoimmunity. Dr. Anderson has published over 43 original papers, 12 reviews, and 5 book chapters. Her work on T cell cross-reactivity in autoimmunity was selected by Nature Immunology as a ‘Classic Paper in Autoimmunity’.

Lynn Bry, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Pathology
Director, Massachusetts Host-Microbiome Center + Crimson Core
Dept. Pathology, Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Harvard Digestive Diseases Center

 

The Bry lab studies host-pathogen-commensal interactions in vivo. As Director of the Massachusetts Host-Microbiome Center, Dr. Bry’s group uses in vitro microbiologic systems with gnotobiotic (germfree) mice to study effects of commensals on pathogens including EPEC and C. difficile, and capacity for the commensal microbiota to limit the spread of multi-drug resistant pathogens in normal and immunocompromised hosts.  Her lab has used these systems to develop therapeutic microbiota for host de-colonization of multi-drug resistant organisms, and in other areas to promote immunomodulation to skew host immune responses from pro-inflammatory or pro-allergic to regulatory in nature. 

 

Clinically, Dr. Bry is a medical director in the BWH Clinical Microbiology lab and also oversees the multi-hospital Prospective Pathogen Genomic Surveillance program that actively sequences multi-drug resistant pathogens from Boston-area hospitals. The program incorporates high-throughput genomic analyses with functional studies to assess host-range and factors that impact spread of drug resistance genes and carrying strains within and across naïve hosts.

 

Lab Projects:

  • In vivo mechanisms by which commensals modulate or inhibit the spread of drug resistance vectors and strains.
  • Microbial mechanisms and products that induce mucosal tolerance
  • Therapeutic microbiota for the prevention and cure of food allergies
  • Microbiota and dietary factors to prevent and resolve C. difficile infection
  • Gene regulation in the Clostridiales
  • Prospective genomic surveillance of drug-resistant clinical isolates.
Important Dates & Deadlines

Applications Close: February 6th, 2017

Decisions Announced: early March 2017

Program Dates for Internship:  June 5, 2017 – August 11, 2017

Eligibility
  • Applicants must be a US citizen or non-citizen national with a permanent residence visa.
  • Any year student from any university are encouraged to apply, but only applicants currently enrolled in a four-year undergraduate program will be considered.
  • Previous research experience in a biological laboratory is desirable, but not required.
Application

To be considered for participation in the IID Summer Internship Program applicants are expected to provide:

  • A resume or curriculum vitae.
  • A copy of your transcripts to date.
  • A personal statement describing in <500 words:
    • Your educational and professional goals.
    • How participation in the IID Summer Internship Program will assist in meeting your goals.
    • Your qualifications and reasons for wishing to participate in this program.
  • Two letters of recommendation and the contact information of two references.
  • The names of the top three researchers you would most like to work with.

Instructions on how to apply and a link to the online application form can be found on this page.

Compensation

A modest stipend will be given to all accepted applicants to help offset any travel or housing costs related to the internship.

X