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Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies kicked off its fifth year of summer internships on May 16th. During the summer of 2012, the Institute will be hosting 13 students, including high school students from local area high schools and college students that are currently attending Indian River State College and Florida Atlantic University, as well as students returning home for the summer from Wake Forest University, the University of Florida and Florida State University. These internships not only give the students opportunity to use skills they learn in the classroom, but the internships also expose students to novel techniques used by key researchers in disease areas such as Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, pain, cravings and addiction. The interns’ majors include biology, molecular biology, chemistry, computational chemistry, mathematics and engineering and computer science.

“As a local graduate of South Fork High School, I enjoy the ability to return home during the summer while learning practical lab skills that are essential for my career,” stated Jonathan Capps, one of the 13 summer interns who is currently majoring in Chemistry at the University of Florida. “Interning at such a well-respected research organization like Torrey Pines Institute provides an advantage that other students are unable to receive in a traditional classroom experience.”

“We believe giving students who have left our area to go to school an opportunity to come back during the summer and learn that they will be able to find jobs on the Research Coast, thus helping to stop the brain drain from our area” said Pamela Houghten, Vice President of Administration and Outreach Florida. “We are committed to giving students real time opportunities in their chosen majors interning in positions that match with their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math thus continuing to expand their education and experience to coincide with National and State STEM initiatives.”

The Florida internship program began back in 2008 with 3 students while Torrey Pines Institute was located in temporary facilities at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University. Since moving into the Florida headquarters, Torrey Pines Institute has hosted 25 more students over the past three years.

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