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Six Summer Interns Help Carry on a Legacy

Virginia Pond Scholarship interns

Click on the image to download a high-resolution version. Gathered for a photo are mentors and interns participating in the newly established Virginia Pond Scholarship program. The scholarship, in memory of the late biology researcher Virginia Pond, provides an opportunity for hands-on experience to students focusing on a career in the biosciences. Back row, from left are Timothy Green, Environmental Protection Division; Noel Blackburn, Office of Educational Programs; Andrew Gifford, Bioscience Department (BO); David Alexoff, BO; Matt Ingham; and Kim Okoli. Front row, from left are Makayla Syas; Madhura Som; Lisa Miller, Photon Sciences; Ruth Pietri; and Changcheng Xu, BO. Missing from the photo are Zhiyang Zhai, BO; and Sashika De Lanerelle.

This summer, the Lab welcomed six interns to the newly established Virginia Pond Scholarship Program.  The program, funded by a Work for Others agreement from the estate of Richard Pond, is in memory of  his sister Virginia Pond, a researcher in the biology department from 1948 to 1991.  

The six interns, guided by their mentors, are working in a variety of research areas within bioscience from tracking sugar transport in plants to developing feedstock for biofuels, biosynthesis, operating systems used for radiolabeling and radiosynthesis of plant molecules, using x-ray scattering to expose protein structures, and performing acoustic surveys to protect an endangered bat species.

“It was exciting to welcome this first group of Virginia Pond Scholarship interns to our already vigorous summer student programs,” said Noel Blackburn, manager of university programs for the Lab’s Office of Educational Programs. “Their very specific interests and studies in bioscience made them a perfect fit to help carry on the legacy of the late Virginia Pond.”

Blackburn was quick to add that the dedication and enthusiasm of the scientific mentors is the key to the success of the Lab’s educational programs.  “Providing hands-on experience in a lab setting and guiding our future scientists is one of the most generous and important things a researcher can do,” said Blackburn.

Read more about Virginia Pond.

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