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Carl Connection: Research Assistant Internship

This opportunity is brought to you by a Carleton alumnus, Caroline Boroughs ’20. You are welcome to reach out to Caroline at with any questions about the organization or position prior to applying.

Viruses such as HIV-1, influenza and SARS-CoV-2 have the ability to rapidly mutate as a mechanism to escape from the host immune system. As a result, highly mutating viruses are largely diverse, with multiple different circulating variants characterized by individual antigenic and infectivity properties. The design of efficacious vaccines against highly diverse viruses is extraordinarily challenging. Despite decades of research, no universal vaccines exist against HIV-1 or influenza. Unfortunately, common vaccination strategies cannot elicit the type of broadly neutralizing antibodies required to confer broad protection against these viruses, and some of the currently available vaccines fail to induce long-lasting protection. Consequently, boost immunizations are advised to achieve protection.

The Escolano Lab investigates the use of sequential immunization as a novel vaccination strategy aiming to induce broadly neutralizing antibodies against highly diverse viruses. Using HIV-1 as a model virus, state-of-the-art technologies, and animal models including wild-type mice, transgenic mice, and rhesus macaques, the laboratory studies the humoral and cellular immune responses to sequential immunization. The goal of this research is to identify guidelines for the design of vaccination approaches to induce long-lasting protection against highly mutating viruses in humans.

The intern will work under the supervision of a postdoctoral fellow and will help advance one of our vaccine-related projects. The intern will work in a highly collaborative environment and will be exposed to multiple molecular and cellular techniques as well as animal work.


  • Preference will be given to students with related majors (biology, chemistry). Other majors are welcome to apply if they have completed significant coursework in these sciences.
  • This internship is ideal for students who wish to work in a laboratory environment upon graduation or who hope to pursue further education in research.
  • Junior, Senior or Alumni
  • U.S. work authorization is required. International students are welcome to apply.

Additional Details:

  • Onsite at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia
  • Full-time Summer position (June-August), start and end dates are flexible
  • Non-paid, students returning to campus in the fall are encouraged to apply to for the Carleton Summer Internship Funding program
  • Applicants must submit a resume and cover letter. Selected applicants may be asked to participate in a virtual interview.
  • Application materials should be sent to