Home | News | Our plans for the summer? Training in cancer research. Four students from Jakarta, Istanbul, Goiás and Valencia come to CNIO

Our plans for the summer? Training in cancer research. Four students from Jakarta, Istanbul, Goiás and Valencia come to CNIO


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(From left to right) Zenith Esteves Gusmão Garrote, Marisol Soengas (Dean of Academic Affairs at CNIO), María Pérez Millet, Angela Sury, Ali Ataman. / Antonio Tabernero. CNIO

During the International Summer Internship Programme students experience day-to-day cancer research at one of the world’s leading cancer research centers.

This programme has received more than 5,000 applications over the last fifteen years. CNIO covers travel and insurance expenses and subsidizes breakfast and lunch at the center.

Ali, Angela, María and Zenith will gain insight into research towards an increasingly personalised medicine, which aims to tailor cancer treatment to the genomic alterations, environment, and lifestyle of each patient.

Ali, Angela, María and Zenith are four students who recently arrived at the Spanish National Center for Cancer Research (CNIO) from Turkey, Indonesia, Spain and Brazil, respectively. Their journey implies a small leap in time, as they will jump for a while in what might well be their career future. Until the end of August, they will share labs with the scientists at one of the world’s pioneering centers in cancer research.

Their applications were selected among the 230 received from all over the world in this year’s edition of CNIO’s International Summer Internship Programme, an initiative that came to life in the early 2000s. It offers students currently at the final stage of their degrees in life or biomedical-related sciences the possibility of gaining experience in two essential features for a research career –mobility and cooperation at international level– in a highly specialised environment.

In the last fifteen years alone, this programme has received more than 5,000 applications from students from all over the world, and many of them have later completed their thesis at CNIO. 

In their applications, students choose two or three options from among the various CNIO laboratories offered, and the more suitable candidates are later invited to a selection process. The programme covers travel expenses, insurance, subsidizes breakfast and lunch at the center, and includes specific activities for them.

During their stay, students experience day-to-day work at a pioneering center in cancer research that seeks to transfer scientific knowledge as early as possible to the lives of patients. They gain insight into the use of advanced technologies for a research approach aimed towards an increasingly personalised medicine, which tailors cancer treatment to the genomic alterations, environment and lifestyle of each patient.

Ali Atman (Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey). Growth Factors, Nutrients and Cancer Group, directed by Nabil Djouder:

“In Turkey I study Computational Biology and am considering career prospects in neurology and cancer. I applied for the internship to increase my knowledge about oncology research. At the CNIO group I have joined, every Monday we have journal meetings, where everyone presents their projects. That is fantastic for us. And I am enjoying the kind disposition of all the staff at the group.”

Angela Surya (Indonesia International Institute for Life Sciences (i3L), Jakarta Timur, Indonesia). Bioinformatics Unit, directed by Fátima Al-Shahrour:

“I am in the final year of my Bioinformatics degree, a still underdeveloped field in Indonesia. Therefore, I find it an extraordinary opportunity to be able to learn in such a prestigious center. I applied because I am very interested in cancer research. I still wish to keep my options open regarding my future but really want to know more about transcriptomics and genomics. In this regard, I have received a warm welcome at the unit and appreciate their efforts to explain everything to me.”

María Pérez Millet (Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, España). Brain Metastasis Group, directed by Manuel Valiente:

“I have wanted to come to CNIO since the second year of my degree on Biochemistry and Biological Sciences. Now, as a fresh graduate, I see this internship as the best start for a career in science. My interest lays mainly on the mechanisms leading to cell fate and behavior. At the Brain Metastases Group, I am learning about how cells are reprogrammed at the molecular level. On a wider perspective, the impact of our stay goes beyond learning new methods and technics. We also get insights in the dynamics of an international research environment, on how different projects and groups collaborate and help each other. Every day I am amazed at how many things are going on here at the same time. And I like getting used to it.”

Zenith Gusmão Garrote (Federal University of Goiás, Goiás, Brasil). Telomeres and Telomerase Group – Fundación Humanismo y Ciencia, directed by Maria Blasco:

“I first knew about CNIO because one of my professors in Brazil encouraged me to look for internships related to my specific area of interest: telomeres and telomerase. I started learning about genomics in high school, driven by curiosity about how we could extend human life. Overexpression of telomerase in human cells appealed to me as one of the more promising mechanisms towards reversing aging. To work on the field of gene therapies addressed to this goal, I first had to learn about basic research at cell and animal level. This center and particularly the Telomeres and Telomerase Group seemed just the best option and I realize they are an exceptional place to do it.”

For more information about the Internship:  Undergraduate Students Programme.

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