Blog Main BRI Summer Interns 2023 Group
September 28, 2023

Meet BRI's Summer 2023 Interns

Featured Bio Camille Hebert

Camille Hebert in Mikacenic Lab

  • Immunobiology major at Brown University
  • Class of 2024
  • Hometown: Seattle, WA

Camille wanted to intern at BRI to dive deeper into immunology research and how it can lead to new treatments and cures. Her project zeroed in on alveolar macrophage polarization, a process where immune system cells (called alveolar macrophages) change their behavior based on what's happening around them.

“I had the opportunity to work with live cell imaging as part of this work, and it was really interesting to watch cells move and respond in real time,” she says.

Her research looked at this process in samples from people with and without a group of respiratory diseases called interstitial lung disease. She hopes this work can provide insight into how interstitial lung disease starts and progresses.

“The most valuable thing I've learned so far is how much collaboration goes into research,” she says. “It takes input from a lot of people to create strong science.”

Featured Bio Zoe Bishop

Zoe Bishop in Ziegler Lab

  • Microbiology major at the University of Washington
  • Class of 2024
  • Hometown: Southlake, TX

Zoe was new to immunology before starting her internship and felt a little nervous being surrounded by experts in the field.

“I quickly overcame my fears when I realized how much everyone wanted to see me succeed and helped me learn as much as possible,” she says.

Zoe studied complex interactions between different types of immune cells in lab models, to better understand how specific gene changes may impact immune system function. This type of research can shed light on how diseases happen and open the door to new treatments.

“I feel privileged to be embraced by the BRI community,” she says. “My favorite part of my internship was the weekly journal club. I loved discussing articles with fellow interns in an open and judgment-free space, and the donuts from postdoc Susana Orozco, PhD, were definitely a bonus!”


Featured Bio Madeleine Mumford

Madeleine Mumford in Long Lab

  • Biomedical Engineering major at California Polytechnic State University
  • Class of 2024
  • Hometown: Snoqualmie, WA

Madeleine has big career aspirations: She wants to use research to create tangible change in the lives of people living with disease. She came to BRI ready to get out of her comfort zone and learn about immunology.

“In my first week in the lab, I was shadowing some cell culture work and was shocked to watch as one machine did something that would typically take me an hour in my undergrad research lab in about 30 seconds,” she says.

Her research focused on detailing the difference between different types of T cells in people with and without Type 1 diabetes.

One of the biggest challenges was learning how to use the coding software R to analyze her data.

“It was really gratifying to become proficient in R after a lot of trial and error,” she says. “I have learned so much from collaborating with my coworkers, and have appreciated their eagerness to help,” she says.

Featured Bio Anastasia Costanza

Anastasia Costanza in Morawski Lab

  • Biochemistry and Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology major at University of Washington
  • Class of 2025
  • Hometown: Gig Harbor, WA

Anastasia was particularly excited to learn new ways to study cells during her summer internship — like creating skin tissue cultures and learning flow cytometry to analyze and measure cell properties.

“I worked on creating 3D skin tissue cultures, essentially manufacturing artificial human skin to use for research,” she says. “And as an aspiring molecular and cellular biologist, I have no doubt that flow cytometry is a technique that I will encounter throughout my career.”

Her research focused on better understanding how the immune system works in healthy skin, which can help scientists understand what goes wrong in autoimmune diseases like scleroderma and psoriasis.

“During my time at BRI, I have felt like I belong to a strong scientific community and I am amazed at how many different projects and questions are being worked on here,” she says.

Featured Bio Kate Forsberg

Kate Forsberg in Hamerman Lab

  • Computational Neuroscience and Computer Science major at Johns Hopkins University
  • Class of 2024
  • Hometown: Bellevue, WA

Kate was eager to join BRI and become part of a team working to predict, prevent, reverse and cure immune system diseases. She jumped right into research in the Hamerman Lab, focusing on PMDCO5 cell lines, which are cells used for lab research. Her project zeroed in on whether these types of cells could effectively model the behavior of human cells from people with lupus.

“We can currently only isolate a small number of the cells we want to study at a time from human blood,” she says. “So, if these cells did behave similarly to human cells, it would make it faster and easier to carry out experiments for lupus research.”

Kate has most enjoyed getting to know and learn from other folks in her lab, and analyzing her study results to make unexpected discoveries.

“I wanted to intern at BRI because I wanted to work in a collaborative environment and support impactful research. It has definitely lived up to my expectations,” she says. “I’m learning new techniques that I know will be beneficial to my studies and my career.”

Featured Bio Kenneth Lai

Kenneth Lai in Bioinformatics

  • Microbiology major at the University of Washington
  • Class of 2024
  • Hometown: Oakland, NJ

When Kenneth discovered bioinformatics, which uses computer science to fuel biomedical research, he knew it was the field for him. This summer, Kenneth dove into huge sets of a type of data called scRNA-seq data to better understand differences between different types of T cells in people with Type 1 diabetes.

“This project has the largest datasets I have ever worked with, and it’s exciting to be creating such large-scale visualizations,” he says. “The biggest challenge has been climbing the learning curve to learn how to efficiently program in R. It was difficult, but I was able to tackle it head-on with supportive mentors at BRI.”

His favorite part of the internship was the opportunity to partner with many scientists with varying areas of expertise.

“Engaging with brilliant scientists to discuss cutting-edge research and technologies has taught me how interdisciplinary collaboration can lead to the discovery of better cures and treatments,” Kenneth says. “BRI cultivates a supportive environment that fosters curiosity and that has really helped me grow as a scientist. I’ve learned invaluable lessons that every aspiring biomedical scientist deserves to experience.

BRI hosts our summer internship program every year from June to August. Applications open in the Spring. Learn more about internships and educational opportunities at BRI.

Immuno-what? Hear the latest from BRI

Keep up to date on our latest research, new clinical trials and exciting publications.