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IIP-Center for Structural Biochemistry, University of Montpelier
Montpellier, France (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 general objective of the Center for Structural Biochemistry (CBS) is to carry out research at the forefront of structural biology and biophysics as a means to reveal the fundamental physical mechanisms underlying biological activity and its regulation and, where possible, to exploit this knowledge in the conception of new therapeutic strategies in human health and disease.

Intern Responsibilities: The selected IIP intern will be involved in one of the various research themes developed in the lab, but will be able to choose a research team and will be assigned a specific project to develop within this team.

Qualifications: IIP candidates with interest in structural biology, biochemistry, and biophysics are encouraged to apply. 

Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Intern #1-My supervisor was working on a project to cure Hepatitis C. He already had the basic idea of what kind of molecule he needed for the project, so two people pursuing a masters in chemistry and I worked together to produce molecules. Because there were only two hoods and because some steps of the reactions would need to go for a long time, some days were very busy while others were much slower. Much of the chemistry was similar to what students do in labs in Princeton classes: turning carboxylic acids into esters, creating urea, turning esters back into carboxylic acids and adding amines. However, the chemicals were more powerful and the molecules themselves were much bigger and more complex. Intern #2- My work responsibilities involve inducing bacteria to produce protein (my project specifically involves nuclear receptors - either PXR or PPAR) and then purifying and crystallizing the protein in complex with a variety of ligands. Then, using x-ray crystallography techniques, the structures of the proteins bound to different ligands can be solved.

Previous work experiences (in the words of past IIP interns): Intern #1: I primarily worked on protein purification. We were ordering DNA vectors, put them in plasmids, grow them in E-coli and then extract the desired proteins from the E-coli. The extraction and purification part is very complicated, has many steps and depending on the proteins can easily go wrong. The purified proteins are sent to the NMR (a huge machine) that computes the structure of the protein.We tried and found a stain that worked to distinguish M cells from other cells and to correlate this to bacterial infection using immunofluorescence microscopy. Another small project was to test transduction of existing samples, with an eventual goal of seeing galectin cages or using the technique for expressing actin (both proteins that help visualize what's happening in the cell in different ways)...First, I learned how to work in a lab. We often had five tasks at a time and had to remember everything about them because if we forgot at the end of the day to move the proteins in another fridge everything was lost. Then I also learned that research involves only 10% good results which I guess might become tiring and hard at some point. Intern #2: I worked on the design and assembly of a synthetic LexA regulator for incorporation into E. coli and B. subtilis. I learned quite a bit about molecular biology research, with which I have no prior experience, and also discovering what it is like to work in a small lab (as opposed to large companies and government/academic labs as I have in the past).

View PowerPoint presentations by past interns:
Giguere, Sophie, Univ Montpelier CNS, France.pptx
Huang, David, Center for Structural Biochemistry (University of Montpelier), France.pptx
Centre de Biochimie Structurale, France, Tsai, Erica.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.