The Biotechnology Training Program (BTP) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison took Danielle Lohman all the way to Manila, Philippines to work in science diplomacy. Lohman, a student in the Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB), has received funding through fellowships from BTP and the National Science Foundation during her graduate career.
BTP requires its fellows to perform an internship and Lohman chose to venture out of the lab to Health Security Partners, a nonprofit start-up in Washington, D.C. While many fellows secure internships at national laboratories or biotechnology companies, Lohman saw the internship as a chance to try something new. Her work in the Philippines helped to define a select agent list, which would help to track potentially harmful substances like anthrax.
“While it wasn’t a traditional biotech industry internship, so many of the skills I learned through BTP helped me secure the internship and succeed there,” Lohman says. “The networking, resume building, and understanding of the field of biotechnology are all transferable.”
IPiB, which Lohman became part of in 2012, is the joint graduate program of the Department of Biochemistry and the Department of Biomolecular Chemistry. BTP is a multi-disciplinary training program funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, an institute of the NIH.
“One of the biggest strengths of my graduate experience is the sense of community,” Lohman explains. “Along with the benefits of BTP, IPiB has a Student Faculty Liaison Committee, where a group of students discusses student-focused topics in the grad program and gets to work with faculty on them. I’ve been lucky to be involved in bringing in elements of outreach and career development for myself and my peers.”