The program, which began on Monday, June 18th, continues through Friday, August 10th. Funding for the program comes from The Donald and Coeta Barker Foundation endowment fund, in addition to endowment funds from the Helen Close Foundation, the Parson Foundation, and the Robert Demott Fund.

According to Interim Administrator Alison Okada Wollitzer, Ph.D., “We are very excited about the highly-qualified 2012 summer interns, who were selected from a competitive field of over fifty applicants. The internship program offers advanced undergraduate students both academic challenges and practical experiences in the field of diabetes. We see the program as raising the next generation of caring physicians skilled in managing and preventing diabetes in their patients.”

The Sansum Diabetes Research Institute Summer Internship Program provides superior undergraduate students majoring in science and interested in a career in medicine with an intensive educational experience focusing on diabetes but including broad exposure to medicine as a career path. Directed by Board Trustee Sandra Tillisch Svoboda, interns participate in a weekly journal club where they learn to critically evaluate the scientific literature, attend presentations on all aspects of diabetes given by staff, visiting scientists, and practicing physicians in the community, shadow doctors in a wide-range of specialty practices, and participate in discussions of current issues in medicine.

Virtually all Sansum Diabetes interns have gone on to medical school or a health-related academic career. Some former interns have specialized in endocrinology and diabetes. They become experts in diabetes research and treatment protocols, thus expanding Sansum Diabetes Research Institute’s reach and helping to improve the lives of people with diabetes around the world.

Students in the 2012 class have strong backgrounds in the biological and physical sciences. Jane Fazio is attending the University of California at Davis with majors in Neurobiology and Physiology and a minor in Chicano/a Studies. Jane will graduate in December, 2012. She aspires to become a primary care physician with a focus on public health and preventative medicine. Thomas Hennings, who attends Colorado State University, is majoring in Biomedical Sciences and minoring in Spanish and Biomedical Engineering. Thomas will graduate in December, 2012 and plans to pursue a graduate education in biomedical engineering.

Benjamin Li recently graduated from Harvard College with majors in Chemistry and Physics and a minor in Music. He wants to become a physician with a focus in research.

Montgomery Simms is attending the University of Oklahoma, where she is majoring in Zoology and minoring in Medical Humanities; she anticipates graduating in 2013. Montgomery wants to be a physician and contribute to diabetes research.

About Sansum Diabetes Research Institute

Sansum Diabetes Research Institute is an internationally recognized research center devoted to the prevention, treatment and cure of diabetes. Dr. William D. Sansum, who brought renown to Santa Barbara in 1922 as the first physician in the U.S. to produce and administer life-saving insulin to patients with diabetes, founded the nonprofit organization in 1944. Today, under the leadership of Lois Jovanovič, M.D., Sansum Diabetes Research Institute remains an extraordinary place, where diabetes research, nutrition, education, and diabetes prevention have improved the lives of people worldwide who suffer from this serious disease.

The Institute has gained global acclaim for its work to develop an artificial pancreas, its success in developing protocols to increase the incidence of healthy babies born to women with diabetes, and its work with people with and at risk for type 2 diabetes. Physicians and researchers continue to develop new treatment protocols for people with diabetes, including new drugs and medical devices.

It is our intention to use our past and present accomplishments to guide us into the future – to tap into the energy and commitment that made Sansum Diabetes Research Institute what it is today – a worldwide leader in diabetes research, prevention, and treatment. For more information on Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, contact Sarah Ettman-Sterner, Director of Communications, at (805) 682-7638 or


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