intense summer for interns
interns clockwise from top left: Daniyal Amirhamzeh,
Adrian Paz, Christopher Martinez, and Christine
many college students, summer means a break from study...or
a chance to earn money before classes resume in the fall.
For a group of Mission College students, it meant an intense
internship with scientists in the bio-medical field. And,
by all accounts, everyone involved got their moneys
worth, so to speak.
The summer program was a resounding success, said
Mike Reynolds, Mission College biology instructor and co-director
of the program. The students learned how science really
works by carefully designing experiments and carrying them
out under professional supervision.
Last spring, 10 students were selected from more than 20 applicants
to take part in the TRAILS (Team Research Approach in Laboratory
Science) program. TRAILS is made possible by a three-year,
$322-thousand grant awarded to Mission College by the U.S.
Department of Education. Its goal is to help guide students
toward careers in the bio-medical and bio-technological fields.
Under the program, two interns were placed at Valencia-based
MannKind Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company that develops
therapeutic products for diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
Eight other interns were placed with scientists and professors
at California State University, Northridge.
The work was intensive, some of it graduate level. The students
explored chromatography, gel electrophoresis, tissue culture,
flow cytometry, syngeneic mouse tumor modeling, and the mapping
of the start site of genes.
The summer interns included Christine An, Daniyal Amirhamzeh,
Roberto Cabrales, Larry Joe Douglas, Lorena Raquel Lopez,
Robert Lozano, Christopher Martinez, and Adrian Paz, all of
whom worked with scientists at CSUN. Two other interns, Jennifer
Herrera and Mario Roldan, worked at MannKind Corporation.
The scientific mentors contacted by Reynolds after the summer
agreed on the programs success.
This is a valuable program, said Dr. Michael Summers,
associate professor of microbiology at CSUN. The students
gain research experience and confidence...and the program
also benefits the progress of my research program.
work did not end with the summer. Most are writing original
research articles based on their experiences, to be included
in a scientific journal due out soon.
is equally excited about another component of the TRAILS grant.
It provided funds to create an advanced class in molecular
biology, and to properly equip the lab necessary for such
2005 TRAILS interns included (front row, left to
right) Lorena Raquel Lopez, Jennifer Herrera, Christine
An, Adrian Paz, and Mario Roldan; (back row, left
to right) Christopher Martinez, Roberto Cabrales,
Daniyal Amirhamzeh, Robert Lozano, and Larry Joe
Science of Biotechnology class is a great advancement
for Mission College, said Reynolds. Students who
take the course will have a much more compelling resume when
they seek research opportunities, and when they apply for
The internship program will continue for at least two more
summers. Information about applying for next years internships
will be released during the spring 2006 semester.
BY EDUARDO PARDO