The Capstone requirement for BSBT-GEN students is an internship that offers hands-on learning experiences in institutions and organizations related to academic research, biotechnology, bioinformatics, innovation, and entrepreneurship. BSBT-GEN students have the flexibility to choose their internship location and area of focus from a provided list of opportunities available to the program. This could be in a scientific laboratory, a pharmaceutical or device manufacturing company, a technology and licensing office, or any department related to technology, clinical trials, or project management. Unlike a traditional research thesis, internships may be a project, hypothesis-based, or problem-based to allow for training in industry and biotechnology businesses.

The internship provides students with an in-depth understanding of how research in the biomedical sciences and biotechnology is translated into practical applications such as new biology discoveries, designs, drugs, devices, and patents. The students will gain a competitive advantage as they gain real-world experience and valuable networking opportunities in the field.

Upon completion of the internship, students will have a comprehensive understanding of their chosen field. Their experience could range from learning state-of-the-art techniques, production of data and analysis in a research laboratory to regulatory affairs, intellectual property, and venture funding. The students will have a deep insight into the challenges and opportunities in their chosen field and will be able to apply the policies and regulations that guide translational science. Depending on their interests and career plans, they will have a deeper understanding of the impact of biotechnology on the environment and public health, the molecular mechanisms of diseases, project management, and much more.

Joanne Rupprecht
Past students have gone on to earn their PhDs and MDs, have been placed in successful Healthcare companies such as Medtronic and Terumo, serve FDA as Consumer Protection Officers, and have gone on to continue their creative endeavors in healthcare in many other capacities. Speakers in my courses and healthcare recruiters seek out students who have been through the BSBT program, knowing that they have received an outstanding education and can make immediate contributions!

- Joanne Rupprecht, Adjunct Professor

Enrollment Criteria

To enroll in an Internship, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Maintain good academic standing
  • Be willing to engage in project or problem-based learning
  • Choose a mentor from the program's mentor list
  • Contact the Program Director via email to confirm mentor and internship site selection
  • Present a signed Internship Plan developed in collaboration with the Internship Mentor
  • Conduct the internship at a location separate from their current place of employment if the student works on campus

Internship Obligations

To earn the minimum required three credits, interns are required to:

  • Complete a minimum of 150 hours at the internship site (excluding time spent preparing or compiling final reports and presentations)
  • Submit a comprehensive Written Internship Report formatted as a scientific paper
  • Deliver an Oral Presentation outlining their internship experience to the Internship Course Director, Exam Committee, fellow students, and the public (for academia) or in a private setting (for industry)


Mentoring Faculty Research Description

Laurel Lenz, PhD

Lenz Faculty Profile

Inflammation is important for protective immune responses. However, improperly checked inflammation damages tissue and contributes to numerous acute and chronic human diseases. Research in the Lenz lab discovers microbial and host factors that suppress inflammation and defines how these work and can be used to treat disease.

Cinnamon Bidwell, PhD

Bidwell Faculty Profile

The Center for Health, Neuroscience, Genes, and Environment (CUChange) at the University of Colorado Boulder conducts transdisciplinary research to explore the psychological, neurocognitive, physiological, genetic, and epigenetic factors that are linked with health and risk behavior. CUChange has developed a novel methodology for studying legal market cannabis products and is currently researching the benefits and risks of cannabis use in a variety of populations. Internships at CUChange include exposure to the data collection process, as well as training in data preprocessing and analysis in support of an individual project to answer a research question of interest. 

Martin Breuss, PhD

Breuss Lab Website

Our laboratory studies the phenomenon of ‘genomic mosaicism’ where some but not all cells within a tissue harbor a unique mutation. It is commonly understood in the context of cancers, where specific mutations within a progenitor cell may cause the disease. However, ‘mosaic mutations’ occur in every cell of our body during embryonic development and aging. Our laboratory is interested in understanding this phenomenon in terms of its general impact on human health and its origin during early development. Current projects include the following: 1) analysis of mosaicism of the parents that may result in the transmission of disease-causing mutations to multiple children (related to the recurrence risk of ‘sporadic’ disease); 2) analysis of ‘neutral’ mosaicism without any functional impact that marks the lineage of cells and allows us to reconstruct development—a feat that is otherwise impossible in humans. We combine human genetics research where we collaborate with clinical researchers, molecular biology to develop and perform detection assays, and computational approaches to process and analyze a variety of generated data.

Joanne Cole, PhD

The Cole Lab


The Cole Lab uses large-scale computational genomics as a tool to learn more about diet's role in human health, with a focus on cardiometabolic disease. In particular, our lab has three primary goals based primarily on genetic and GWAS data and analysis: 1) improve phenotyping quality and consistency, 2) understand biological and environmental mechanisms and their interactions, and 3) connect these findings with human health using both statistical genetic (e.g. Mendelian randomization) and, more recently, clinical approaches. Depending on bioinformatic and statistics experience, projects range from performing GWAS of various aspects of eating behavior to developing new statistical genetic methods to combat common problems in nutrition and metabolic disease research.  
Eduardo Davila, PhD
Davila Faculty Profile
The Davila Lab aims to understand the cellular and molecular signals that promote the generation of potent and long-lasting tumor-specific T cell responses. Early preclinical studies demonstrated that formulating vaccines to include toll like receptor agonists together with peptides representing tumor antigens induced potent CD8 cytotoxic T cell responses and were effective at treating tumors in a prophylactic and therapeutic setting.

David Howell, PhD

Howell Faculty Profile

Colorado Concussion Research Laboratory. Our research focuses on the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and prevention of youth sport-related concussions. We conduct clinical research in a variety of different settings, centered on improving health outcomes following a concussion. We study this important clinical problem in a translational fashion, using laboratory and clinical approaches. Through our observational work that incorporates biomechanical, clinical, and epidemiological approaches, we aim to identify pragmatic and effective rehabilitative methods to improve outcomes following concussion. 

Edward Lau, PhD

Lau Faculty Profile

Our research aims to measure protein spatiotemporal dynamics and cell-cell communication in complex systems, and to apply the gained knowledge toward understanding development and diseases. To do so, we track protein turnover and localization using a variety of techniques including human induced pluripotent stem cells, stable isotope labeling mass spectrometry, and computational models.
Aaron Lazorwitz, MD

Lazorwitz Faculty Profile

Dr. Lazorwitz and his research team are committed to improving reproductive healthcare and women’s health through translational and clinical research in contraception and personalized medicine. Dr. Lazorwitz’s primary research interest is focused on the pharmacogenomics of hormonal contraception and how we can use genetic variation to provide personalized contraceptive recommendations. He also conducts research on drug-drug interactions with contraception, with a particular focus on the contraceptive implant. Dr. Lazorwitz also serves as the PI for the University of Colorado’s participation as a site in the NICHD Female Contraceptive Clinical Trials Network, investigating novel contraceptive methods.

Eva Nozik, MD

Nozik Faculty Profile

The overall mission of the Nozik lab is to understand the mechanisms responsible for the development of diseases of the lung and blood vessels in infants and children, and to develop better tools to detect and treat these lethal diseases.   Our work focuses on an important antioxidant enzyme, extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD), which is highly expressed in the lung and vessels under normal conditions and is impaired in diseases such as acute lung injury and pulmonary hypertension.   We predominantly utilize a series of genetically engineered mouse strains with alterations in EC-SOD expression to test how EC-SOD modulates inflammation and vascular injury in disease models. Ultimately our long-term goal is to provide a foundation for the development of novel diagnostic tools and cell-targeted antioxidant therapies to treat life-threatening pediatric lung diseases including acute lung injury and pulmonary hypertension.  

Huntington Potter, PhD

Potter Faculty Profile

Dr. Huntington Potter is Professor of Neurology, Director of Alzheimer’s Disease Program at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, and is Director of the CU Alzheimer’s and Cognition Center at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center. Previously, Dr. Potter and colleagues have found cell cycle defects in numerous other neurodegenerative diseases and are developing several new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease for testing first in animals and soon in humans. 

Jane Reusch, MD

Reusch Faculty Profile

Our lab is a clinical translational research lab conducting mechanistic research in youth and adults with type one and type 2 diabetes. We have many studies under which we have collected deep clinical phenotyping data related to metabolism (insulin action and insulin resistance), cardiovascular risk factors, cardiac imaging, vascular imaging and assessment, skeletal muscle assessment of blood flow and oxidative capacity, and functional parameters such as exercise capacity. The overarching question of our lab is to better understand the mechanistic underpinnings of decreased cardiorespiratory fitness and early cardiac dysfunction in the setting of otherwise uncomplicated diabetes. A student working with us would have the opportunity to assist in the building of a bio repository of data in youth and adults with type one and type 2 diabetes, analysis of relationships and response to intervention among these different groups and ages, and optimization of data dictionaries and entry into the biorepository for optimal extraction.

Rebecca Schweppe, PhD

Schweppe Faculty Profile

The focus of the Schweppe Lab is to define the role of Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) in advanced thyroid cancer. FAK is a nonreceptor tyrosine kinase that has been most studied at the cell membrane where it transduces extracellular signals promote cancer growth and metastasis. Recently we showed that activated FAK localizes in a sub-compartment of the nucleus, the nucleolus, in thyroid cancer cells. The nucleolus is a major regulator of ribosome biogenesis, and ultimately protein synthesis, which are critical to drive the metabolic demands of tumor progression. Thus, our data raise the exciting possibility that nucleolar FAK plays a novel and key role in these nucleolar-mediated pro-tumorigenic functions. Our ongoing studies are focused on understanding how FAK regulates ribosome biogenesis and ultimately thyroid cancer progression and how to target this novel function.

Jordan Jacobelli, PhD

Jacobelli Faculty Profile

The Jacobelli lab focuses on how cytoskeletal remodeling regulates lymphocyte migration, activation, and effector functions in response to environmental stimuli during homeostasis and in disease settings such as autoimmunity and cancer. We use a combination of functional assays as well as in vitro reductionist approaches, including high-resolution spatio-temporal imaging of molecular dynamics and in vivo 2-photon microscopy to characterize immune cell behavior in physiological environments.

Kimberly Bruce, PhD

Bruce Faculty Profile

Kimberley D. Bruce, PhD, is an Assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes. After completing her PhD in epigenetics and molecular biochemistry, Dr. Bruce wanted to use her expertise to interrogate the molecular mechanisms driving lipid disorders. After more than a decade of research, she noticed many links between peripheral lipid metabolism, brain aging, and neurodegenerative disease. Despite the brain being mostly made of lipids, lipid homeostasis in the brain is poorly understood. Inspired by this, research in Dr. Bruce’s laboratory is aimed at finding new mechanisms relating to lipid and lipoprotein processing in the brain that we can target to improve outcomes for previously incurable diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis”

Jill Slansky, PhD

Slansky Faculty Profile

Dr. Jill Slansky’s lab is interested in how cancer and the immune system interact on many levels, but mainly focus on how CD8 T cells recognize tumor antigens in people and animals

Kunhua Song, PhD

Song Faculty Profile

The research goal in our lab is to understand mechanisms governing cardiac development and pathogenesis using a combination of human induced pluripotent stem cells and animal models. These studies form the bases for developing therapeutic strategies for cardiovascular disease.

Nicholas Jacobson

Jacobson Faculty Profile

Nicholas Jacobson is a clinical design researcher at CU Anschutz Inworks Innovation Initiative/ He is known for his immersive approach to clinical research and has been developing a unique set of solutions with a multi-disciplinary team. His team comprises computational designers, medical students, and the expertise of academy award winning stop motion animation studio LAIKA. 

Sujatha Venkataraman, PhD

Venkataraman Faculty Profile

Dr. Venkataraman’s lab research is focused on identifying novel therapeutic strategies for a fatal brain tumor in children called DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma). Treatment options for DIPG are limited as chemotherapy is largely ineffective and surgical resection is not possible due to the tumor’s location in the pons, a region of the brain responsible for multiple vital functions like heartbeat and respiration. Ionizing radiation is the current standard of care for DIPG but provides only a temporary relief as the tumor becomes resistant to radiation at recurrence. Our lab is currently studying the radiation resistant mechanisms at the single cell level to identify new targeted treatments that are directed towards enhancing radiation efficacy in DIPG. In addition, Dr. Venkataraman lab have also been working on immunotherapy, both CAR-T cell and antibody-based therapies to effectively target DIPG, which is otherwise a refractory disease.

Tamara Terzian, PhD

Terzian Faculty Profile

Our laboratory focuses on studying the transcription factor p53, a key tumor suppressor that is mutated in more than 50% of human cancers. We explore the regulatory mechanisms of p53 and its role in various biological processes like skin cancers, embryonic development, pigmentation and lymphatic disease. For our research we use mouse models of cancer, tissue culture with human primary cells and clinical trials.

Todd Pitts, PhD

Pitts Faculty Profile

The Pitts (GI Translational Research) Lab is focused on developing new novel therapies for colorectal and pancreatic cancers. The lab is interested in finding rational combination partners for molecularly-targeted anticancer and immunotherapy agents.  The Pitts lab has a special interest in predictive biomarker and resistance mechanisms using correlative biological assays for early phase clinical trials.

Yuwen Zhu, PhD

Faculty Profile

Dr. Zhu's lab focuses on characterizing novel surface interactions that contribute to the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment: 1. novel T cell immune checkpoints, 2. pathways that limit intratumoral T cell infiltration.