HOT Division Summer Internship Research Program

Hot ProgramEstablished in 2021, the Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation (HOT Division) at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities offers a competitive, six week Summer Internship Research Program. The program runs June 6, 2022 to July 15, 2022 and is open to undergraduate students. The program goal is to encourage the next generation of scientists to become leaders and innovators in the field of hematological and oncological malignancies. The program aims to support the interests of each scholar in developing a long-term career in research or clinical disciplines. 

Each of the accepted undergrad scholars will take part in numerous aspects of clinical or basic research. Activities in the program include but are not limited to:

  1. Understand the scientific foundation and current clinical barriers of hematological or oncological diseases.
  2. Comprehend the landscape of current job opportunities or career trajectories.
  3. Receive individualized mentorship from established faculty and laboratory members.
  4. Conduct hands-on experiments as a key laboratory research member.
  5. Gain clinical exposure through interactions with faculty and physicians in the hospital.
  6. Learn from current medical students and researchers about career paths in medicine.
  7. Interact with peers with similar career interests.

This paid internship program is offered to undergraduates who:

  1. Currently attending regional colleges or universities in the State of Minnesota.
  2. Must be entering a full semester or quarter of school for the 2022-2023 academic year.
  3. Plans to pursue a graduate or professional degree in medicine (i.e. MD, PhD, PA, etc.)

Each undergraduate scholar will be supported by research scholarships by the HOT Division and a faculty mentor for the 6 weeks and will work full time. Scholars will receive a stipend of $3,000.

The completed application is due by March 31, 2022 at 5 pm CST. APPLY HERE.

If you have any questions regarding the program, qualifications or application process, please contact Heidi Goski at laws0067@umn.edu.

HOT Division Faculty Spotlight

The HOT Division is home to renowned clinicians and research professionals who investigate and treat cancers and blood disorders in adults. Each faculty member is renowned for their research or clinical expertise in hematological, oncological, or transplantation disease.

Of our outstanding faculty, many are involved in cutting-edge research and our international leaders in their research disciplines. Some examples include Emmanuel S. Antonarakis, MD, Jeffrey Miller, MD, and Carol Lange, PhD. Dr. Antonarakis is focused on the development of novel androgen therapies for the treatment of prostate cancer. Dr. Miller is investigating the novel use of immunotherapies, specifically Natural Killer cells, for the treatment of cancer. Dr. Carol Lange is focused on steroid hormone receptors, estrogen receptors, and progesterone receptors in breast and ovarian cancers.

Emmanuel S. Antonarakis, MD

Dr. Antonarakis is a genitourinary medical oncologist with a particular focus on recurrent and advanced prostate cancer. He conducts clinical and translational studies to bring new therapies to patients with prostate cancer. In particular, he is interested in developing novel androgen-directed therapies, genetically-targeted therapies, and immunotherapies for men with recurrent or advanced prostate cancer, and using germline and tumor genomics to inform precision oncology approaches for these patients. Dr. Antonarakis also has an interest in liquid biomarker development, including the clinical validation of the AR-V7 marker as well as DNA repair markers and their therapeutic implications; and is involved in mentoring fellows and junior faculty in the clinical care of genitourinary cancers and the development of translational research strategies related to prostate cancer.

Jeffrey Miller, MD

Dr. Miller has been interested in NK cell biology, NK cell development, the acquisition of NK cell receptors and seamless translation into clinical trials throughout his entire academic career. Currently, the lab is focused on mechanisms which determine the enhanced function seen with CMV induced adaptive NK cells, facilitating immune synapses with IL-15 containing Trispecific Killer Engagers (TriKEs), IL-15 biology, NK cell killer immunoglobulin receptor (KIR) acquisition and function (NK cell education), and developing NK cell therapeutics. Throughout his career at the University of Minnesota, he has mentored faculty and delivered hundreds of NK cells products to patients with cancer. His team has identified unique NKC2C+ NK cell repertoires exhibit a methylation signature of CD8+ T cells with properties of immune memory. Adaptive NK cells are better primed for killing, cytokine production, ADCC and exhibit unique metabolic signatures that enhance their survival. He has developed state-of-the-art functional readouts to study NK cells from the laboratory and the clinic based on high resolution testing. He was the first to report that haploidentical allogeneic human NK cells can persist and expand for up to one month after adoptive transfer. Based on these studies a significant part of his effort is trying to understand how to exploit NK cells for therapeutic purposes against infection and cancer and how to improve outcomes from allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. Clinically, he has developed first-in-human trials using allogeneic donor NK cells and an NK cell TriKE that engages NK cells and AML targets that co-stimulates NK cells with an IL-15 linker. Dr. Miller’s experience and translational expertise has supported a transition from individual related donor NK cell products to induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived NK cells. Advantages of using this off-the-shelf platform include the flexibility of multiple gene edits, immediate cryopreserved product availability, multi-doing strategies and combinatorial therapy with targeted agents to enhance NK cell function. Dr. Miller is devoted to team science and mentoring. He has supervised > 400 NK cell products and sponsored >10 INDs and his team has studied >4000 transplant patients. Dr. Miller’s experience, NIH grants and translational expertise provides a rich environment for training.

Carol Lange, PhD

The Lange Lab is focused on the role of steroid hormone receptors (SRs) in breast and ovarian cancers. Estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptors (PRs) are ligand-activated and context-dependent transcription factors that are essential for development of the breast and reproductive tract. Altered sex hormone levels contribute to cancer risk in these tissues and drive metabolic and cell fate transitions associated with rapid tumor progression. The presence of abnormally activated ERs and imbalanced/activated PR and GR isoforms in hormone-driven tumors can dramatically influence response to endocrine or other therapies. Our overarching research goal is to better understand how SR+ breast cancers and other hormone-influenced cancers of reproductive tissues escape endocrine (i.e. SR-blocking) or other molecular targeted therapies that primarily target signaling pathways that are active in proliferating cancer cells.