JJ Vance Memorial Summer Internship Lures Gifted Local Teens to the Miller School

The competition was fierce for the 2010 JJ Vance Memorial summer internship in biological and computational sciences this year, with more than 30 of the area’s brightest high school students vying for the unique opportunity to work alongside expert faculty and post-doctoral fellows at the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics and gain hands-on research experience.

Yates Brown, a 2010 JJ Vance Memorial summer intern from Ransom Everglades High School, said the internship gave him the opportunity to further develop his career goals. “Before I began this internship, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to study in college,” said Brown. “Now I’m thinking about majoring in biology.”

Interns assisted researchers with ongoing projects, such as candidate gene sequencing, conducted Sanger sequencing using robotics, and evaluated data using online public databases.

The interns were joined by their families and mentors at the close of the eight-week program for a celebratory luncheon, where they got to show off what they learned.

The internship was established by Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., director of the HIHG, and Jeffery M. Vance, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics, in memory of their son Jeffery Joseph (JJ), who died of a blood clotting disorder at age 14. Candidates who are interested in the 2011 program must submit a completed application, transcript request, two letters of recommendation from teachers and a personal statement. For more information, please visit

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