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Simmons Cancer Institute Accepting Summer Internship Applications

January 20, 2017

Summer research internships will be offered for the ninth year at Simmons Cancer Institute (SCI) at Southern Illinois University (SIU) Medicine. SCI will award four paid positions to qualified undergraduate college students who plan a career in medicine or biomedical research with a focus on cancer.

Don Torry, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology and Director of Basic and Translational Research at SCI, said the program “shows students who have an interest in research and medicine what it’s like to work in a lab and experience cancer research first hand.”

Interns will have the opportunity to learn basic laboratory skills while working under the supervision of SCI faculty members. The SIU Carbondale campus will host one intern, and the SIU School of Medicine campus in Springfield will host three. Funding for the program is made possible through Denim & Diamonds, the cancer institute’s annual gala that raises funds for cancer research and patient programs.

Torry said 29 students have gone through the internship since 2009. Thirteen have gone on to medical, dental or physician assistant schools or research careers, and all eight from the last two years plan to apply for medical or graduate school.

“Simmons Cancer Institute’s summer internship allowed me to explore my future as a researcher and learn essential lab techniques that I have used throughout my education,” said Springfield native Olivia Gobble, a 2015 intern who attends the University of Alabama. “It also pushed me to think outside of the box and approach problems, occurring both in lab and in life, in a scientific way.”

Qualified undergraduates are defined as individuals who have completed their freshman year of college by June 2017 and will enter their sophomore, junior or senior year in fall 2017.

Applicants should submit:

1. a current college transcript
2. a resume
3. a personal statement describing current studies, activities and future career goals.
4. Applicants must arrange to have two letters of reference from college instructors submitted prior to the deadline. The paid internships are awarded on a competitive basis.

Applications should be submitted as a single PDF document and emailed to Theresa Casson at Instructors should email their reference letters directly to Casson. The deadline for receipt of all materials is Friday, March 17, 2017. Contact Casson with any questions or for additional information at 217-545-2220.

The mission of Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU is to serve the people of central and southern Illinois by addressing their present and future cancer needs through education, research, patient care and community service. Its website is