PGRP Staff

This summer, Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) is proud to welcome its fifteenth class of summer interns. Since its inception in 2001, more than four hundred students have crossed BTI’s threshold to learn advanced techniques in molecular biology, genomics, and bioinformatics; make discoveries in plant science; and explore potential careers in research. The students come from diverse backgrounds in the United States and abroad, and make their home for ten weeks in research labs at BTI, Cornell, and the USDA. Besides engaging in research in the lab, students attend seminars on new research findings, receive classes in bioinformatics techniques, and learn about opportunities for careers in the plant sciences.

The internship program began in 2001, instituted by former BTI faculty member Tom Brutnell, and has been led by Georg Jander since 2005. Jander and Jian Hua, a faculty member in the Cornell School of Integrative Plant Sciences, are the recipients of an National Science Foundation (NSF) grant titled “REU Site: Plant Genome Research,” the fourth in a series of NSF grants that have funded undergraduate summer research at BTI for the last eleven years. Tiffany Fleming, BTI’s Director of Education and Outreach, has acted as program coordinator since 2008.

To celebrate fifteen summers of discovery and innovation by BTI interns, we are showcasing former students from the program and giving updates on where they are today. Check back weekly as we count down to the start of the 2016 summer internship program.

(Image: The people behind PGRP: Professor Jian Hua of Cornell University, Director of Education and Outreach Tiffany Fleming, BTI Professor Georg Jander, Director of the USDA Holley Center Leon Kochian, and former Education and Outreach Assistant Nicole Waters Fisher.)