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IIP-University of Oxford, Weatherall Institute
Oxford, England (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 MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM) at the University of Oxford is one of the world’s premier institutes where basic research in cell and molecular biology is applied to the improvement of human health. Located next to the John Radcliffe Hospital, clinician/scientists and basic researchers work hand in hand with clinicians in the hospital to tackle both rare and common diseases. The WIMM incorporates programs on blood diseases and stem cell disorders (leukemia, lymphoma, and thalassaemia); immunological disorders (HIV AIDS, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and eczema); cancer (bowel and breast); infectious disease (malaria); and a wide range of genetic diseases, including abnormalities of facial development and disorders of the neuromuscular junction.

Intern Responsibilities:  IIP interns will join in the basic and medical research being undertaken at the WIMM providing an introduction to the new revolution in molecular medicine. Responsibilities will include conducting a brief research project which might eventually contribute to a scientific paper.

Qualifications: Previous laboratory experience and experience working with large datasets would be an asset but is not required.

Previous work experiences (in the words of previous IIP interns): Intern #1: I worked on a project to create a circular RNA to serve as a microRNA sponge with a graduate student. He would help plan the experiments and tell me what needed to be done, but I was responsible for carrying out all of the experiments. I used a variety of different lab techniques, including cloning, tissue culture/transfection, and FACS. At the end of my time, I presented my data in a lab meeting. Intern #2: I conducted flow cytometry experiments to characterize surface. Intern #3: I worked on stem cell differentiation. This project focused mostly on immunofluorescence on E10.5-E11.5 mouse embryos and I examined the stainings using a confocal microscope...I learned mostly techniques and what the day to day work in the lab is like. Intern #4: I worked in an immunology lab that is interested in understanding the structural basis of T-cell recognition and activation. My own project aimed to elucidate what happens at the molecular level when a T-cell is triggered by a superagonist antibody that has been bound to Fc receptors immobilized in a lipid bilayer. To do this, I had to first make four different constructs of Fc receptors. My responsibilities included cloning Fc receptor genes with PCRs, ligations, transformations, and mini-preps; expressing proteins through lentiviral transfections and infections; and purifying the protein of interest with a column of nickel beads. Then, with the purified Fc receptors, I went to a collaborator's lab at the University of Cambridge to do single molecule experiments with super resolution microscopy. These experiments involved putting the Fc receptors into a lipid bilayer, binding to them superagonist and conventional antibodies, and dropping T-cells onto this configuration. The laser microscopes then show what happens to fluorescently labeled molecules as the the T-cells are being activated...I learned a lot of laboratory techniques in the field of molecular biology research. I have been taught to do gene cloning, protein expression, protein purification, and assembly of a lipid bilayer. I also learned about the basic theory of T-cell activation through the kinetic-segregation model and the proposed effects of superagonist antibodies. This experience has also taught me about the daily life of a researcher, a post-doc, a PhD student, and a PI. Intern # 5: I identified gene regulatory elements in the neural crest. This meant I did a lot of enhancer cloning. I also worked with chicken embryos...I learned the way science interacts with medicine, the way rigorous research is conducted, the way collaboration works within the lab. It's been a very rewarding experience.

View Powerpoint presentations by past IIP interns:
Qin, Vivian, Weatherall, England.pptx
Plaza-Jennings, Amara, Weatherall Institute, UK.pptx
WIMM, UK, Maron,Sam.pdf

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.