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Meet Our 2022 Summer Interns

  • 2022 YCCI Summer Exposures Intern

    Fhasal Alam is a rising senior at Torrington High School in Torrington, Connecticut. An aspiring pre-med, he is interested in pursuing neuroscience as his major. Utilizing bioinformatics programs, he recently had his microbiology research on analyzing the genome of Yubaba, a bacteriophage, published. This virus has the potential to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). He has also been appointed captain for cross country and track, and he is the clarinet section leader for marching band. For the new school year, he will begin co-teaching AP Biology and shadowing a physician to further his academic interests.About my YCCI Internship My experience with YCCI was fantastic; I enjoyed every second of it! Being able to talk with a variety of world-renowned experts from different fields opened my mind up to the world of clinical and translational research. I will forever take away what I learned about diabetes biotechnology and psychiatric drug development as well as the silly puns and laughs I shared with the incredibly kind staff and my enthusiastic peers. For Students Considering YCCI Should you apply? Yes, yes, and yes. Even if you don't think you'll receive a spot at the YCCI Summer Exposures Program, still apply! One of my most favorite things about my experience at YCCI was the people. The staff at YCCI is unbelievably helpful and listen to all your questions or suggestions; the peers you will meet are ambitious yet extremely kind. For the summer program, I would highly recommend you take notes at the presentations—even today, I still find myself referring back to things a doctor or professor said at an earlier discussion!
  • 2022 YCCI Summer Exposures Intern

    Sarah is a college freshman from Mexico City studying at Tecnologico de Monterrey where she has a full ride scholarship and plans on majoring in Industrial Design.  Sarah describes herself as someone passionate about STEM and art, and she loves when she can combine them and create wonderful things. During  her high school years, Sarah completed many STEM - related extracurricular activities, like participating in hackathons where she's been lucky enough to win and join Kode with Klossy, a summer camp where she could learn the basics of coding and where she discovered her passion for computer science.  Sarah also loves love helping others and enjoys creating projects that could have a real impact on society. In fall 2021, with the help of an awesome team, Sarah was able to create a series of workshops for girls with the objective of promoting STEM subjects and inspiring them to pursue a career in STEM. Furthermore, Sarah has a passion for health topics and enjoys helping in different causes related to this topic. Sarah is currently a volunteer in a group that visits different hospitals and gives food and toys to pediatric oncology patients and their families. In addition, in spring 2021,  Sarah was able to organize a tennis tournament with an amazing group of girls with the objective of fundraising for children battling cancer. In the future, I Sarah would love to continue using my her leadership and STEM and artistic skills to keep helping others and build a better future for the next generations. About my YCCI Internship  During this internship I got to explore many new career paths I had never imagined, and it really helped me to find something I enjoy. I was also able to combine my passion for helping others and clinical investigation with design, thanks to the project I worked on. I had the fantastic opportunity of working on a project where our main objective was finding ways of improving MyChart, the platform that doctors and patients use to communicate with each other in the US, and adding features that would help YCCI find more people willing to participate in pediatric clinical research studies. During this project, we worked a lot with data science, user research, and user interface and experience design - something I truly enjoyed and chose as a career path. I loved how this internship taught us about the importance of clinical research and how it requires different professionals to collaborate, not only doctors.  I also learned a lot from this internship, thanks to all the conferences and chats we had with Yale doctors and leaders. I loved how every lesson highlighted the importance of diversity and inclusion. Last but definitely not least, one of my favorite things about this internship was the amazing community and all the lovely friends I met this summer. Getting to know like-minded teens from different parts of the world and learning from them was a wonderful thing I will treasure forever. For Students Considering YCCI  For everyone considering applying to this internship, please do! It's a wonderful experience that could really help you in your professional life, and it's not exclusively for people considering being doctors or pursuing a health-related major. This program really opened my mind to new careers and how they could help with the future of medicine and clinical research, and it also opened my heart to become more aware of injustices in the health system and how we can help change this as future professionals. Joining YCCI also gave me the opportunity to meet Yale's leaders and get to learn from them - a once in a lifetime opportunity I could not let pass, and you definitely shouldn't either.
  • 2022 YCCI Summer Exposures Intern

    Brian Caballo is a freshman at the University of Michigan, where he is interested in biomedical engineering, computer science, and healthcare. With obtained experience interning at a lab, a medtech startup, and a few scientific institutions, he has enjoyed obtaining a robust understanding of the sciences and how they can be harnessed to impact our world. He hopes to continue exploring the intersections of medicine and technology, especially when it comes to contributions to meaningful research.About my YCCI Internship  From my YCCI internship experience, I feel that I have learned about medicine and clinical trials in an all-encompassing, perspective-broadening way. The great amount of relevant and insightful information that I've noted, ranging from extremely interesting scientific topics in research to personal stories about unorthodox career trajectories, has instilled in me only a stronger fervor to seek out the areas I'm interested in. Working alongside such bright peers has been a definite highlight of the past summer, and our work to improve Yale's Epic MyChart Portal has certainly been an exciting time with the prospect of meaningful advancements. I can't wait to see the continued success of my peers in the future!For Students Considering YCCI  Even if you are slightly interested in any of the content you think YCCI has to offer, definitely apply. The fields of clinical trials and translational research are so wide and interdisciplinary that people of all backgrounds and interests can certainly find their place. Take advantage of such a wonderful opportunity, and make sure to showcase what you are passionate about in your application!
  • 2022 YCCI Summer Exposures Intern

    Tanush Chintala is a junior at Lebanon Trail High School in Frisco, Texas. Tanush has an interest in computer science and healthcare. Possible intersections between the two fields include data analytics and informatics, which Tanush finds extremely interesting. Through the leadership positions Tanush holds in his school, such as the President of DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), President of Model UN, and Treasurer of (TSA) Technology Student Association, he is able to grow the leadership and collaborative skills, extremely vital to his future. Tanush has also taken part in several research programs, such as application development and sustainable chemistry, to further his love and interest for STEM fields. Some of his other interests include playing the viola, in which he competes in All-Region and Solo and Ensemble competitions, and playing basketball in his free time!About my YCCI Internship  YCCI positively impacted many aspects of my life. For example, I gained an extensive amount of knowledge on clinical trials and healthcare's impact on various other fields. This allowed me to connect medicine with other interests of mine, allowing me to consider various fields. Additionally, it developed important life skills such as collaboration, leadership, and public speaking. Even though it was representative of a professional environment, I had an amazing time talking with mentors and peers. It was truly a life-changing experience I will always remember.
  • 2022 YCCI Summer Exposures Intern

    Melissa is a senior In high school, currently enrolled in the health strand at Waterbury Career Academy (WCA) in Waterbury, Connecticut. Melissa has received multiple certifications related to the health field through her years at WCA.About my YCCI Internship  This internship was a great learning experience.  I got to meet so many people and gain a broader perspective of what it is like to work in clinical settings. You learn so much about yourself, your work ethic, and how to collaborate with others on a deeper level.For Students Considering YCCI  I highly recommend participating in this Internship as it will not only look good on your resume, but you also will have the opportunity to meet many highly educated individuals that you might not meet everyday. You get to converse and collaborate with these individuals and come out a better person.
  • 2022 YCCI Summer Exposures Intern

    Suma Dendi is a junior at Rocky Hill High School in Connecticut. Her strong passion for STEM reflects in her activities including science writing competitions, independent research on brain-computer interfaces, and her leadership position as the impact lead of her robotics team. She received the President's Volunteer Service Award at the Gold level for her work with Connecticut based youth non-profit organization Power of Peace, and has organized events including a carbon footprint challenge, community cleanup, and eco-careers webinar with an international team at the environmental non-profit Human Nature Projects Ontario. Currently, Suma hopes to pursue a career as a physician with research in neurotechnology, while continuing to be a positive force in her community. About my YCCI Internship  My internship at YCCI was not only an amazing opportunity to learn from experts in fields like medicine, pharmaceuticals, and informatics, but an opportunity to become a part of a community that is constantly innovating and shaping healthcare and research as we know it. During my summer here, I learned the ins and outs of clinical research and gained valuable career insights from incredible individuals, while also having the honor of working with fellow interns and the YCCI team to contribute my unique perspectives and solutions to boost participation in pediatric Yale research studies through direct messaging on the MyChart patient portal. The doors that this experience has opened for me, not just in the real world, but in my own mind in terms of my new confidence about a career in medicine are vast and valuable, and I enjoyed every day of it.  For Students Considering YCCI   A YCCI internship is one of the best opportunities a student can get. If you're interested, don't be afraid to apply! You won't regret it.
  • 2022 YCCI Summer Exposures Intern

    Manuel is currently a senior at the University of Tampa on the Dean's list of honors pursuing a career in medicine, specifically oncology. About my YCCI Internship  It was an overall great experience. The amount of information learned in this program is amazing. From the importance of clinical research, to all the segways that lead from that. Other than the things learned, we also conducted a project which I was passionate about. We got to make suggestions on how to better assemble the MyChart patient portal. Overall, the YCCI summer program was a great way to spend my summer. For Students Considering YCCI  Enter the program being open minded! Don’t be shy to ask questions and remember, no question is a dumb question.
  • 2022 YCCI Summer Exposures Intern

    Maheera is currently a junior at East Lyme High School in New London County, Connecticut.  Maheera holds leadership positions in several clubs and is  a known leader for her class.  Maheera has won an academic excellence award for Spanish and is also a part of Spanish Honors Society. Maheera's accomplishments include participation in the YCCI program along with other internships like Stanford iGEM summer session and a Leadership Initiatives business program.About my YCCI Internship  After being accepted into the program I had no idea what to expect but was excited. It was amazing learning about so many different topics and careers I knew little to nothing about previously. I was slightly disappointed when I didn’t receive my top choice for the group project but each project ended up being so creative and unique that my experience was just as fulfilling with my second choice group. Working with my group was something I looked forward to each day and we had a lot of fun working together! For Students Considering YCCI  I would say definitely make sure you have the time for it because it is a time committment, but it is absolutely worth it. I recommend starting the application early. Make sure to make the most of the program and be attentive because every piece of information is important! Do not feel discouraged if you don’t know what’s going on, or don’t know much about the topics, everyone will be so helpful and a great resource!
  • 2022 YCCI Summer Exposures Intern

    Chidera Kalu-Uka is currently a senior at James E. Taylor High School in Katy, Texas. Apart from her engagement at school serving as President of the Skills USA’s Health Science chapter for her school district, President of Black Student Union, and Founder of People of Color Alliance where she strives to create a comfortable space for minorities and promote cultural respect,  she also works with First Gen Support - an organization dedicated to providing college preparation resources for first-generation, low-income, and immigrant students.  Chidera is also a member of the Dormant Biology Lab at Stony Brook University. She is mostly interested in the fields of neurology, hematology, and public health, specifically healthcare access advocacy. Chidera hopes to double major in public health and neuroscience on a pre-medicine track and is excited for the doors YCCI has and will open up for her.About my YCCI Internship  My internship experience with YCCI has definitely been the most inspirational 4 weeks of my life. Listening to each presenter discuss their work and their interests heightened my passion for healthcare and made me realize that my dream of restructuring the healthcare system in African countries is definitely achievable. Coming into the internship with no prior knowledge of clinical research, I would definitely like to pursue this field afterward. Having the opportunity to work with and develop relationships with high-achieving and like-minded students from different backgrounds was one of my favorite aspects of the internship. Engaging with the leadership team and professionals at YCCI was such a surreal but simultaneously exciting experience. You would be surprised to find out that clinical research encompasses a wide array of career opportunities—not just in medicine, but also in information technology, engineering, graphic design, and other contrasting fields. I am extremely grateful to have been a part of the YCCI Exposures Program!For Students Considering YCCI  Don’t be hesitant to apply if you have no prior experience with clinical research. Taking part in this program is truly life-changing. From “lunch with a leader” asking professionals, who are the best in their field, questions, to brainstorming ideas with your group for your project, this internship will equip you with knowledge and skills that will be beneficial in the pursuit of whichever career path you choose to take.
  • 2022 YCCI Summer Exposures Intern

    Marina is a rising senior in Torrington, Connecticut. Marina is a member of the National Honor Society and is a member of THS Softball, Volleyball, and Cheerleading teams. In addition to these activities, Marina has been a part of Girls Who Code has volunteered with the Raider/Run Walker for Charity and.  Her most recent accomplishments have been participating in a UCONN biotech class and being more outgoing and social.About my YCCI Internship  I enjoyed the YCCI internship.  Tthe instructors really took their time explaining things.  It is a really good opportunity to take if you want to go into the medical field. My project was to make clinical investigation interesting to children and thanks to YCCI, my group and I will be able to create a webpage, video game, brochure, and a tiktok account informing children all about the wonders of clinical investigation.For Students Considering YCCI  You learn from many different professions and it gives you insight into what your future career might be. It’s a great opportunity and if you can do it, you definitely should!
  • 2022 YCCI Summer Exposures Intern

    Gabriella Pavlov is currently a senior at Trumbull High School in Trumbull, Connecticut and the founder of Team Tutors, which is an LLC nonprofit that offers free tutoring services for underprivileged children and teenagers. She has a strong interest in the medical field, with a focus on neuroscience, along with a passion for computer science. These passions have lead her to work her way up from volunteer to assistant coach over the past six years at TOP Soccer/AYSO, which is a program for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Gabriella considers herself to be a very well-rounded student, making the most of her high school experience. She is an active participant in her school’s ethical debate team, theater program, select audition choir, and math team. She is also the captain of her school’s cross country team and a varsity runner for both cross country and track and field. Along with being a part of numerous honor societies, Gabriella has recently received the Lasell Book Award, Spanish Seal of Biliteracy, and the AP Scholar with Distinction Award.About my YCCI Internship I am grateful for my time as a YCCI intern. It was an amazing experience. Having the chance to learn and talk with the top industry leaders in many different fields gave me valuable knowledge that I can apply to my future. I was able to learn all of the many facets of clinical research, particularly about underrepresented communities and lack of participation. In addition, the need to educate teens and adolescents on the importance of clinical trials. I was able to collaborate with likeminded peers and made lifelong friends in the process. If you are a leader looking to make a positive change, I strongly recommend this internship.
  • 2022 YCCI Summer Exposures Intern

    Richael is a high school senior from Columbus, Ohio. She aspires to pursue a career in STEM where she can be a role model and leader for other underrepresented groups who don’t often receive the support and encouragement they need to continue in the field. She is active in her community as a member of the Columbus Youth Council where she represented the high_school students in her city, and also through the Code Club she started to teach Arduino electronics and programming in her community, to name a few. In college, she hopes to major in Bioinformatics or Computer Science where she ultimately hopes to use her skills to help develop medical technology.About my YCCI Internship  YCCI’s Exposures Summer Internship gave me the opportunity to work with other talented and likeminded youth throughout the country. It also gave me the invaluable opportunity to converse with some of the country's greatest leaders and pioneers in medicine today. I can say with confidence that taking part in this internship gave me more confidence in my future goal to enter the fields of technology and medicine.For Students Considering YCCI  My biggest piece of advice is to apply! I was really hesitant in even pressing the submit button because of impostor syndrome and the fear that I wouldn't be "good enough" and I'm so glad I didn't let that fear get the best of me. I challenge you to take a chance because you never know what opportunities will await you.
  • 2022 YCCI Summer Exposures Intern

    Kishan Sivakumar is currently a junior at Lebanon Trail High School in Plano Texas, studying Computer Science (through Computer Science 3 Advanced) and medicine (through various extracurricular programs and internships). He has aspirations in the medical field through research and public health with the use of Bioinformatics, as he has experience in Python, Java, XML, HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Kishan had experience using Machine Learning algorithms to create a functional Android Application for medical diagnosis at the University of Texas at Dallas. Kishan is creating a website for a Ugandan-based organization and researching specific strains of cancer to formulate a developed and complex public health project. Currently, Kishan is delving deeper into Biosynthetic research through a Stanford iGEM featuring the Yale iGEM program. In his free time, he loves to play basketball and soccer!About my YCCI Internship  “The experience I have gained from YCCI has been instrumental and pivotal in my medical passions for the future. Being at a young age, the fact that I got the opportunity to listen to and interact with the leaders at the forefront of the field of clinical science has completely changed my perspective and understanding of the broad field. Ultimately, the collaboration I was able to build with other motivated individuals in my YCCI Cohort has truly inspired me even further.”For Students Considering YCCI  “For those considering being a part of the YCCI internship: this program is truly pivotal and can completely change your standpoint in the medical field, as this opportunity gives you exposure to the sophisticated side of the medical field like no other. Not many internships allow interaction with individuals involved in professional medicine, collaboration to create a complex and developed project with other interns, and extra activities like journal club all in one opportunity.”
  • 2022 YCCI Summer Exposures Intern

    Deborah Theophile is a rising senior at the High School for Community Leadership in Jamaica, NY. She aspires to be a doctor in neurosurgery or pediatric neuroscience. Deborah loves to engage in learning. It isn't surprising to see Deborah in deep discussions with her teachers and finding solutions to help her community.  Deborah is interested in sports, music, and learning and she continues to find ways to pique her curiosity. Deborah has a desire to help and impact the world. In being involved in many STEM-related initiatives, she strives to find ways to learn about public health, neuroscience, and research to educate youth.About my YCCI Internship  My YCCI internship experience has been extraordinary! I was able to meet such fascinating presenters and amazing peers. I gained deeper insight into the different research fields, such as informatics, pediatrics, and science communication. I also loved my group project because not only did we create a high school ambassador club to increase adolescent interest in clinical research, but I got to learn from my mentors and my like-minded peers!For Students Considering YCCI  This internship is the place to start gaining knowledge and finding ways to positively impact your community.
  • 2022 YCCI Summer Exposures Intern

    Gicel Princess Nicole Verdeflor is a senior at the Academy of Research and Medical Sciences Magnet Program at South Cobb High School in Marietta, Georgia. Gicel is passionate about neuroscience and biomedical research. Gicel was elected president for her school’s Beta Club, where she has donated books to pediatric oncology patients and collaborates with a local non-profit to help the homeless through local events and fundraisers. Gicel has had her research on the gene expression changes of a malignant brain cancer, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, published and is the Distinguished Young Woman of Cobb County. Gicel hopes to major in neuroscience and plans to continue giving back to her community in her own fashion.About my YCCI Internship  This internship was hands-down the best experience I have ever had. The bits and pieces of knowledge that I have gathered through the indispensable interactions with the Yale School of Medicine’s team has opened my eyes about clinical research and the health inequities in the United States. Being able to meet and learn from individuals who are at the forefront of their industry as well as the other interns has heightened my desire to pursue my passions. If I had to give one piece of advice that I have learned from the YCCI Internship, it would be to push yourself to take challenges, although uncomfortable, they can expose you to opportunities and worlds that you weren’t aware of. For Students Considering YCCI  This experience is one of a kind and gives you the opportunity to connect with people who are professionals in their field and fellow interns who have the same drive and want to succeed as you do! I wasn’t really expecting much when I applied, but look where I am now! Apply to YCCI, don’t let this opportunity pass you by!
  • 2022 YCCI Summer Exposures Intern

    Alexander Weiden is a rising sophomore at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado. He has a strong interest in medicine and general biology, and specifically the marginalization of underrepresented races, particularly Native Americans, within the healthcare system. He is a competitive Rubik’s Cube solver, and is ranked 50th globally in the Square-1 event. He is also a participant in the BEST Robotics Program, where his team has consistently ranked in the top ten in district and regional competitions. He founded his school’s Ornithology and Rubik’s Cube clubs, and enjoys sharing his passion for these subjects with others. About my YCCI Internship  My experience with the YCCI Exposures Internship has had a significant impact on my career perspective and general outlook on medicine. The interactive and lively lessons covered a variety of topics in medicine, research, and ethics. Each and every session gave us a detailed yet manageable overview of information that applied both to our group projects as well as our future healthcare careers. Additionally, we were introduced to many of the skills needed to thrive in a medical career from industry leaders. The group project was also an extremely valuable experience. I was able to connect with peers who shared similar goals and interests, and we designed a brochure, social media campaign, and video game to educate adolescents and children about clinical research.For Students Considering YCCI  The YCCI Exposures Internship will broaden your career horizons and teach you about careers in the medical field from world-renowned researchers and leaders. Few summer programs will give you the opportunity to speak with the Senior Advisor of a presidential COVID-19 Response Team and a principle investigator in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials. The YCCI experience will give you an overview of relevant career topics in medicine and foster an appreciation for the discipline. Additionally, the project mentors, guest speakers, and organizers of the YCCI internship are always open for questions and love to share their expertise. YCCI is truly something special.