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Success of Summer Interns at ARMI | BioFabUSA

ARMI | BioFabUSA is committed to engaging students in its efforts to grow the biofabrication ecosystem. In an effort to continue to engage the student population, ARMI | BioFabUSA sought to fill four summer intern positions. With a large pool of competitive applicants, each of the four distinguished student interns that were hired brought a unique set of experiences to their position. As the summer comes to a close, we would like to take this opportunity to reflect on their hard work and efforts that resulted in their success as interns. Success that fosters not only the professional development of these four individuals, but also the development of the emerging fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

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Katrina Wells is currently entering her junior year at UNH Manchester pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology. Katrina spent her summer working alongside Chief Regulatory Officer Dr. Richard McFarland and Deputy Chief Regulatory Officer Dr. Becky Robinson-Zeigler as a Regulatory Research Intern. She was immersed in unique experiences that allowed exposure to regulation within the emerging industry of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. She spent a large portion of her summer creating a repository of documents, referred to as the Regulatory Research Library, which will provide direction on the guidelines and standards of regenerative medicine. This library, which will be of use to members of the ARMI | BioFabUSA Community, will allow individuals to understand the necessary next steps in the regulatory pathway while simultaneously allowing them to efficiently navigate the regulatory process.

When asked to reflect on her experience at ARMI over the course of the past few months, she stated that, “ARMI is unique in that its atmosphere fosters growth and emphasizes the value of diverse minds uniting together not only to progress biofabrication and resulting regenerative therapies, but also to ensure that such therapies are manufactured in a way that permits them to become available and affordable to patients in need.”

Rebecca Ste. Croix recently graduated from the University of New Hampshire with her Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology. During her time at ARMI, she worked alongside Taylor Warren, Outreach Coordinator at ARMI | BioFabUSA, as a Digital Content Intern. Rebecca assisted in the development of written content for social media channels through primary research. These pieces of content that were generated are useful in that they will help to educate individuals on outreach efforts, the increasing membership base of the ARMI | BioFabUSA community as well as the current technologies that are prevalent in the regenerative manufacturing industry.

Syeda Fatima arrived at ARMI | BioFabUSA as a senior at UNH Manchester, with only one semester remaining in her pursuit of a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology. As a Research Content Developer, Syeda worked with Lexi Garcia, Outreach Coordinator at ARMI | BioFabUSA, conducting primary research to generate datasets and libraries of annotated references. These sets of compiled information will be available to members of the ARMI | BioFabUSA Community and will be used to: (1) provide background and guidance with respect to technological gaps within the industry and context for future technical project calls; (2) use these said technologies to identify and address gaps that will assist in the development of a tissue engineering manufacturing line; and (3) promote the development of a resource library on ARMI’s Community Portal which closely aligns with the ARMI Roadmap.  

Alexander Williams is also entering his junior year at UNH Manchester, and like Wells, is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology. As a Data Analytics Intern, Alex spent his summer working with Jack Vailas, Analyst at ARMI | BioFabUSA, performing not only independent research projects, but enriching the company data through data enrichment activities. This increased amount of information that Alex has compiled via primary research will help to reveal patterns and trends in the data, which in turn allows for the generation of industry reports that drive decision-making at ARMI.

When we asked Alex to reflect ARMI | BioFabUSA’s work, he stated that, “Not since the invention of vaccines and antibiotics has there been such enormous potential to do so much good for so many people. Imagine a world where the organ transplant waiting list is a thing of the past; where anyone with a failing kidney can just got a hospital, provide a few skin cells, and get a brand new, personalized kidney for an affordable price. That’s what ARMI is fighting for – making that world a reality.”

Through efforts such as these, we are excited to help students and lifelong learners gain a clearer understanding of the limitless career opportunities within the biofabrication industry and, hopefully, have inspired these individuals to realize the full potential of possible careers. We are eager to see what the future holds for the next round of interns and hope that individuals such as these, both past and future, continue to shape the growing ecosystem.