NIMML’s Undergraduate Scholars Program: an innovative biotech-focused internship program

The Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory (NIMML) is home to an innovative biotech-focused research opportunities for undergraduate students, the NIMML Undergraduate Scholars Program (USP). The goal of the internship is to prepare students for graduate school, medical school or pharmacy school, and future careers in biotech and biopharma by providing training in the translational research conducted at NIMML. Our research combines advanced computational approaches with preclinical, translational and clinical experimentation with the aim to translate new biological knowledge into safer, more effective precision medicine interventions for human diseases.

The USP internship is targeted to undergraduate students from various backgrounds ranging from science to business to contribute in the several divisions of NIMML research. Life science students gain experience with the hands-on experimental facets of NIMML in the areas of immune, infectious and chronic diseases working with ongoing NIMML research projects. Trainees are trained in general laboratory education, technical skills and ongoing NIMML research project. Computational and data analytics students are focused on software development, AI, computational modeling and information technology. Students are involved in project planning approaches, building and extending NIMML computational models, generating and applying advanced machine learning AI algorithms to advance drug development and perform in silico clinical trials and treatment predictions as well as development of bioinformatics and computational tools for data analysis. USP also includes a business and marketing section that encompasses analysis of social media approaches, methods and tools for communicating and promoting biotech research plus market research analysis for current drug and software designs.

“NIMML’s USP holds an excellent track record of outstanding, highly competitive students. USP alumni is currently enrolled in several top graduate and professional programs {PhD, medical school, vet school and pharmacy school} as well as working as Director and other senior positions in biotech and biopharmaceutical companies or NIH post-bachelors program,” said Raquel Hontecillas, Co-Director of NIMML. “NIMML continues to focus its efforts in training current undergraduate students to gain valuable research experience through experiential learning and successfully achieve their career goals.”

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The NIMML Institute is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit public charity foundation focused on a transdisciplinary, team-science approach to precision medicine at the interface of immunology, inflammation, and metabolism. The NIMML Institute team has led numerous large-scale transdisciplinary projects and is dedicated to solving important societal problems by combining the expertise of immunologists, computational biologists, toxicologists, modelers, translational researchers, and molecular biologists. The Institute is headquartered in Blacksburg, VA. For more information, please visit or contact