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NIIMBL eXperience Program Leads to Student Internships

This summer, a group of talented students received a jump start on a career in the biopharmaceutical industry during the NIIMBL eXperience.

Building on the success of previous years, NIIMBL held its third eXperience from June 14 – 25, 2021. This program gives African American/Black, Latinx and Native American college freshmen and sophomores an inside track into the world of biopharmaceuticals. The goal is to provide students with career options that they may not have otherwise considered and help the industry connect with and inspire up-and-coming talent.


The 2021 eXperience included the most expansive and diverse group of host institutions yet. Host organizations ran the full gamut from large biopharma manufacturers, small innovative companies, and leading academic and non-profit institutions. The list of hosts included Catalent, Eli Lilly, Merck, Cytiva, Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb, Amgen, Genentech, Scientific Bioprocessing, Keck Graduate Institute, and U.S. Pharmacopeia. Plus, students were treated to an inspiring session with Tia Lyles-Williams of LucasPye Bio, the first African American woman to found and serve as CEO of a biotech manufacturing company.


Since its inception in 2019, the NIIMBL eXperience has benefited both students and the industry. Students find a path to a rewarding and lucrative career, while companies expand their talent development pipelines and build a more diverse workplace by connecting with top-tier students. In fact, three students from previous eXperience cohorts spent the summer of 2021 interning for large biotech companies. Laurryn Sells (Howard University), a 2019 eXperience Fellow, completed an internship with Merck while Tiala Gabrielle Scott (Lincoln University) and Alani Perkin (Harris-Stowe State University), both 2020 eXperience Fellows, held internships at Genentech and MilliporeSigma respectively.


“Last week, I concluded my internship within the Research Pathology department at Genentech. Over the last 12 weeks, I learned a great deal about the applications of Project Management, collaborated with remarkably talented persons, and even presented a winning poster in the Intern Project Showcase,” shared Tiala.


“Watching this program grow over the past three years has been extremely rewarding,” said John Balchunas, NIIMBL Workforce Director. “It is exciting to introduce these students to our industry and see the connections and relationships that are fostered through this program.”


The eXperience has become one of the cornerstones of NIIMBL’s workforce efforts and the institute looks forward to future iterations of the program.

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