The summer internship is a valued program at Fluid Imaging Technologies (FIT). For the past 5 years, we've hosted a student in our headquarters to grow and pursue their interest in science, technology, and business.
This year, Travis Haysley, a joint MBA and PhD student at University of Maine's Graduate School for Biomedical Science and Engineering, approached us about an internship opportunity. Haysley was interested in FIT for our unique ability to offer a glimpse into the world of industry while providing an avenue to pursue his interest in instrumentation.
"I'm interested in instrumentation used to analyze biological materials. I was familiar with flow imaging microscopy, but wanted to learn more about it. I wanted to understand how each piece of the FlowCam contributed to the overall machine and understand how to apply it to biomedical projects," says Haysley.
While at FIT, Haysley worked closely with our laboratory staff on in-house projects, exploring new applications with the FlowCam, including NIST protein standards, Nile red-stained microplastics, and printer toner. Haysley also designed his own project, investigating whether or not the FlowCam could detect cells containing Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), a material he worked with in his previous rotation.
"After I was trained on the FlowCam, I was given a lot of independence. I had opportunities to run samples and to help develop new applications for the FlowCam. I even got to take the FlowCam down the street to Maine Medical Center Research Institute to evaluate the its ability to detect GFP," says Haysley.
Haysley will be entering the second year of his PhD program in September 2018. He will be working with Dr. Michael Mason in the Chemical and Biomedical Engineering department, developing new applications for a biomaterial made from nanocellulose. Haysley intends to pursue a career in the private sector after he receives his PhD.
"Travis represents a new generation of forward-thinking academics who see beyond the traditional PhD. Through our internship program, FIT provides real-world opportunities for students looking to gain exposure to the industrial sector. We support internship experiences and welcome the opportunity for collaboration and innovation," says Heather Anne Wright, Applications Support Manager and one of Haysley's advisers in the lab.
We look forward to continuing to offer the internship program in years to come. As Nicole Gill, Laboratory Supervisor and intern adviser, says, "It's a win-win situation – we gain fresh perspective and ideas from talented up and coming scientists while our interns walk away with a valuable experience that informs their future academic and career pathways."
We'd like to thank Travis for his time and commitment to FIT! He was an integral part of the team this summer. We wish him the best in his studies and future endeavors.