UConn-Tip Research Day was held on August 2, 2017 at the Farmington Technology Incubator. The event featured short talks and posters from this summer’s UConn-TIP Fellows, as wells as, lunch and a keynote talk by Mary Jane Rafii, PhD, MBA, and successful entrepreneur in the biotech space. There were 18 UConn graduate and undergraduate students in the program this summer.
Program gives college students real-world experience
by: Charles Paullin
NEW BRITAIN – Two students from Central Connecticut are getting real-world experience while pursuing careers in their fields of interest.
Ethan Cope of Kensington and George Andrews of Terryville recently participated in the University of Connecticut Technology Incubation Program (TIP), a summer immersion fellowship program.
“It’s not your usual experience; there’s a lot more put onto you,” said Cope, who earned his master’s degree in microsystems analysis in June before beginning dental school at UConn.
“Because it was with a small startup, you were exposed to so many different fields” said Andrews, who is entering his junior year, majoring in biomedical engineering.
The 10-week program, consisting of 18 students sponsored by their respective academic departments and based at the Cell and Genome Sciences Building of the UConn health facility in Farmington, pairs Connecticut startup companies with UConn undergraduates, graduate and recent graduates.
“When you’re in kind of a startup environment and there’s less people in the company, you might be doing a lot more than what you initially expected,” said Cope. “You kind of open your mind and explore opportunities more openly.”
Cope worked with Oral Fluid Dynamics and tested how sterilization affected a membrane flux and salt rejection for a medical device that he wasn’t allowed to go into specifics on because the product is still in early stages of development.
This meant coordinating the effort to procure membranes from Yale University, testing them on the variable sterilization methods and then returning them to Yale for study on the findings.
“I never thought I might go into sales, but now I may,” said Andrews.
Andrews worked with Avitus Orthopedics in the sales department, coordinating its marketing effort and scheduling meetings with doctors to discuss the distribution of a unique bone harvesting device.
This involved taking a trip to Johns Hopkins University in Maryland to test the product and learning the technique of cold-calling doctors to sell the product.
Throughout the program, seminars were held.
The program culminated with a Research Day at the headquarters, where MaryJane Rafii, a leader in the biotech industry, gave a keynote speech.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.