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IIP-University of Queensland, Institute of Molecular Bioscience (IMB)
Queensland, Australia (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Partner Institution/Organization Homepage: Click to visit
Restrictions: Princeton applicants only
Fact Sheet:
Dept Offering Program: IIP, International Internship Program (IIP) Program Type: Internship
Language Prerequisite: No Program Features: Lab Based Work, Research
Degree Level: 2 First year Ugrad, 3 Sophomore, 4 Junior Time Away: Summer
Housing options: Student Responsibilty with support from IIP and/or Host Organization Program Group: International Internship Program
Program Description:
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About: The Institute for Molecular Bioscience's (IMB) mission is to decipher the information contained in the genes, proteins, and molecules of humans, animals, and plants. Since its establishment in 2000, IMB has earned a reputation as one of the Asia Pacific region's leading research institutes. By understanding the development process and aspects that go awry in complex diseases, IMB aims to develop pharmaceutical and cellular therapies, technologies, and diagnostics to prevent or treat such diseases.

Intern responsibilities: The IIP intern will contribute to the work of the research institute for one of the following projects:
  • Project 1 - Dual action Anti-inflammatory Therapeutics: Working as part of an international multidisciplinary team in the field of synthetic medicinal chemistry the intern will synthesise novel members of an exciting compound series, targeting the NLRP3 signalling cascade, aimed at reducing levels of a potent pyrogen interleukin 1β. The aim is to create molecular hybrid molecules which not only reduce inflammation but simultaneously treat disease. Such molecules have significant utility in many areas including asthma, type 2 diabetes and also in disorders of the brain, Parkinsons and Alzheimers.  There is a unique opportunity to learn and develop synthetic, purification and analytical skills contributing to our series for future patent and/or publication and the intern will be included on this as deemed appropriate to the work conducted. The student can expect to complete their project with an excellent understanding of the structure activity/property relationships within the series and the underlying biology of the disease area.
  • Project 2 -  Antibiotic discovery: The CooperGroup at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience has a strong interest in the discovery and development of new antimicrobial agents. We have several ongoing projects at various stages of maturity, from early discovery through to hit-to-lead, lead optimization and pre-clinical development. Each project is unique in terms of targeted organism and medicinal chemistry focus. The intern will have the opportunity to understand the unique challenges of antibiotic discovery and development in a globally recognized research group, and contribute to a high impact research area. In particular, the IIP intern can expect to gain first-hand experience as an independent researcher in a medicinal chemistry setting, learning how to perform reactions and monitor their progress, and how to isolate and characterize their target molecules. Importantly, projects are designed to challenge the intern, and will NOT involve routine repetitive analysis. As such, it will require the intern to think beyond the usual “laboratory practical manual”, where an analytical mind and attention to detail is an asset for identifying and overcoming unforeseen difficulties. The intern will have a clear set objectives and will receive continual guidance during the course of the project.
    In addition to our discovery programs, the group has launched a not-for-profit, open access framework for the discovery of new antimicrobials known as CO-ADD (Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery). CO-ADD screens unique molecules hidden in academic compound collections from collaborators around the world in an attempt to identify novel starting points for antibiotic development. Part of this process involves resynthesizing hits and analogues of hits in order to assess their true potential. Projects in CO-ADD are ongoing and make ideal student projects; the intern will have the option of participating if he or she desires.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with experience in synthetic organic chemistry and an interest in therapeutics are encouraged to apply. Laboratory experience, particularly organic synthesis work, is required.

Previous work responsibilities (in words of past interns): Intern #1: My project began with an organic synthesis. I was responsible for finding information regarding potential synthetic methods and carrying out the synthesis itself.  Intern #2: I synthesized a library of organic compounds to be tested as potential inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (an enzyme) inhibitors.  Previous studies have shown that targeting this enzyme may be an effective path toward eliminating Cryptococcus neoformans (a fungus) infection in immunocompromised individuals...I am learning much about organic chemistry.  I have been introduced to a wide array of reagents and solvents, reaction techniques, and characterization and purification techniques. Intern #3: My work responsibilities are centered around a project that aims at synthesizing and, thereby, finding new antibiotics. One molecule in a vast library of molecules was found to have favorable antimicrobial properties against gram-positive bacteria (and one form of harmful fungi). My job was to create analogs of this compound using organic chemistry to do so in order that these analogs can be tested to see if they have enhanced activity against harmful bacterial...I learned all about chemistry lab procedure and how to handle independent research...I created a couple of compounds that are analogs of one that has antibacterial properties.  These analogs will then be tested against the bacteria again to see if there is a change in antibiotic capability.  If so, then IMB may allocate additional funding and research to creating analogs of that compound and mass-producing it for testing. Intern #4: I synthesized molecules that are variants of a known molecule that has antibacterial properties, as part of the new CO-ADD program...The organic synthesis I did could lead to the creation of a new drug (fingers-crossed), and subsequently greater publicity and funding for CO-ADD...Working in a lab was a very good refresher on organic chemistry and on lab techniques. I have learned how to use chemistry machinery, which I think will be good preparation for the fall, when I have to take Experimental Chemistry.

View PowerPoint presentations by past IIP interns:
IMB intern PowerPoint - Julianne Goff
IMB intern PowerPoint - Carol Gu

IMB intern PowerPoint - Yash Patel

Dates / Deadlines:
This program is not currently accepting applications. Please consult the sponsoring department's website for application open dates.
This program is currently not accepting applications.