HudsonAlpha Celebrating 15 Years of BioTrain Internship Program

By: Emily Adelman

HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is celebrating 15 years of discovery, progress and innovation in 2023. During this milestone year, the Institute will celebrate the  BioTrain Internship program, its premiere student training program that coincided with its conception in 2008. HudsonAlpha is celebrating the program’s success, meeting and learning from the students the program inspired, and looking forward to where the program will be in the next 15 years.

The BioTrain Internship program is one of the longest-running programs at HudsonAlpha. It provides a unique combination of workforce training, professional development, and team building, as well as a culminating poster session. The internship program enables students to connect their classwork with real-world job experiences in the biotechnology sphere, including with resident biotech companies on the HudsonAlpha campus. HudsonAlpha’s associate companies benefit from the BioTrain Internship program, with at least 23 former BioTrain interns working for associate companies on campus. 

BioTrain promotes Alabama workforce development

Nearly 400 students have gone through the program over the last 15 years. One of the goals of the BioTrain Internship program is to promote workforce development for the state of Alabama, so eligibility is limited to students that attend a college in Alabama or are permanent residents of Alabama and attend college elsewhere. More than three-quarters of the student participants grew up in Alabama. BioTrain interns represent more than 20 different Alabama colleges and universities. 

“HudsonAlpha really focuses on local education,” Claudia Chu, BioTrain class of 2018, said. “I got to benefit from that as a resident of Alabama and also got to work with my fellow neighbors in exploring this new field that is constantly changing. That is the part I enjoyed the most, that HudsonAlpha focuses on people who are in and around the state.” 

Internship Program led by one of the first interns to go through the program

Interns that have gone through the program move on to their next steps, whether continuing their education, a biotech career or a complete pivot. But one of the very first BioTrain interns decided to stay and lead the program for the last eight years.

“Having been a member of the first cohort of BioTrain Interns, I knew what a unique and impactful program it was,” Michele Morris, BioTrain class of 2009, said. “After gaining a few years of experience in Educational Outreach, I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to lead this impressive program.” 

Michele is now the Director of Workforce Development, directly overseeing the BioTrain internship program and its mentors. “Interacting with the students and our inspiring mentors is one of the best parts of my job.”

Fifteen years have passed since the first interns stepped foot into HudsonAlpha’s atrium. Over this span of time, the profound impact of the BioTrain internship program has extended far and wide, reaching the lives of nearly 400 students, who are now scattered across the globe.

You can meet some of those impressive interns, as the Institute is hosting a 15th Anniversary meet-up for the program’s alums that coincides with this year’s BioTrain Internship Poster Session. Join us on Friday, July 28, 2023, for a celebration of 15 years of the BioTrain internship program, connect with former interns and look forward to the next cohort of students in the program! The BioTrain Internship Poster Session will be held from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm in the atrium of the HudsonAlpha Institute main building at 601 Genome Way, Huntsville, AL.

If you’d like to apply to our BioTrain internship, the next round of applications will be open from January 15 – February 15, 2024. 

To delve deeper into the experience of our BioTrain interns, HudsonAlpha conducted interviews with some of them, shedding light on their time in the program. Click here to learn more about their experience.