Department of Pediatrics Summer Internship

We are pleased to announce the launch of a full-time internship summer program in the Department of Pediatrics, developed by Chief Administrative Officer, Anita Mesi, M.B.A. The summer program is designed to provide high school, college, and graduate students with exposure to the field of Pediatric medicine and familiarization with career opportunities in medicine and research.

The internship program:

  • Provides each intern with faculty and staff mentorship that aligns with their interests.
  • Provides adequate/structured oversight in a safe environment with the necessary tools to perform tasks.
  • Promotes diversity and an equal opportunity to be selected as an intern.
  • Recruits qualified candidates, creating awareness and enthusiasm that will lead to careers in pediatric medicine.
  • Increases collaboration across all divisional programs.

The following Pediatrics Medicine programs accept interns annually:

Basic Science Research: A Crash Course (Research)

Academic Research: A Crash Course will allow volunteers to see a bit of everything that goes into Pediatric Vaccine design in an academic setting. This 6 week program will include shadowing within the lab as researchers complete assays and obtain data, data analysis and communication to collaborators, and a look into the administration responsibilities that keep it all together. Volunteers will be able to get hands on experience with one of our specialty binding assays, ELISA, as well as a small writing project.

Project Leader: Genevieve Fouda, MD, PhD
Division: Infectious Diseases

Duration: 6 weeks
Workplace: Fully On-Site 

Brain Development in Children Born Preterm (Research)

A major focus of the Travis Lab is how the early language environment of infants born preterm impacts neurodevelopment. There is strong evidence to suggest that maternal speech input in utero may be important for promoting healthy brain and language development in typically developing children. However, infants born preterm are often deprived of this normal auditory environment when cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). In our lab, we are currently investigating in a randomized clinical trial whether a language intervention, which involves playing recordings of a mother’s voice to preterm infants, is an effective treatment for promoting healthy brain and language development in preterm babies. Related projects will also examine how parent involvment in NICU care practices also impact brain development and later outcomes in children born preterm. Involvement in these projects will provide experience with human subject research, medical chart review, and human MRI methods including diffusion and quantitative neuroimaging. Our lab community is engaging, supportive andproductive. Involvement in the proposed projects would provide excellent preparation for honors research in child development. We welcome undergraduate students, medical students and fellows to engage in these projects. 

Project Leader: Katherine Travis, PhD
Division: Child Neurology 

Duration: 10 weeks
Workplace: Hybrid

Chronic Kidney Disease in Children Research Program (Research)

The focus of our research is chronic kidney disease in children. Specifically, we are interested in understanding iron metabolism alterations in children with chronic kidney disease and developing strategies to utilize this knowledge therapeutically and ultimately to improve outcomes in children with kidney diseases. In our work we use animal models, cell culture models, patient samples and datasets, as well as conduct clinical studies, including clinical trials. We primarily welcome applicants who are interested in basic science nephrology research, although the opportunities for translational and clinical research also exist.

Project Leader: Oleh Akchurin, MD, PhD
Division: Nephrology

Duration: 10 weeks
Workplace: Fully On-Site 

Pediatric Epilepsy Research (Research)

Dr. Grinspan’s lab conducts clinical research to improve care for children with epilepsy.  Projects may include studies in comparative effectiveness, surveillance and epidemiology, quality improvement, health services research, or population health. The lab also works closely with advocacy groups for rare diseases on projects related to clinical trial readiness, such as outcome measure development and selection, disease concept models, and pilot clinical trials. Dr. Grinspan works closely with students to design and execute projects aligned with their interests and passions.

Project Leader: Zachary Grinspan, MD, MS
Division: Neurology

Duration: 10 weeks
Workplace: Hybrid

The Effect of Infant Gut Microbiome on HIV Replication (Research)

Each year >150,000 infants are newly infected with HIV, of which >50% occur during breastfeeding. This high rate of HIV infection via breastfeeding is particularly challenging for infants of low- and middle-income countries, where breast milk is a standard feeding practice to improve infant's health and reduce their mortality rates. While antiretroviral therapy (ART) is very effective in suppressing HIV replication, this therapeutic regimen cannot prevent viral transmission from mothers who are acutely infected during the breastfeeding period. Consequently, infants who are infected in their early-life are forced to rely on daily ART for the rest of their lives, resulting in development of drug-associated long-term metabolic consequences. Hence, to eradicate pediatric HIV infections during breastfeeding, novel and safe intervention strategies beyond maternal ART will be necessary. Gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome has been linked to many disease states including HIV disease progression. However, the impact of infant GI microbiome on HIV acquisition risk during breastfeeding has never been studied before. By leveraging archived samples from an infant non-human primate oral viral acquisition study, we for the first time, demonstrated the protective efficacy of infant gut microbiota against HIV acquisition during breastfeeding.

This project will lead to the detailed characterization of the mechanistic interactions of infant gut microbiome with HIV replication, thereby leading to future non-human primate intervention studies to establish whether manipulation of the gut microbiome during infancy reduce the risk of oral HIV acquisition. Engineering the gut microbiome of infants to enhance colonization of protective gut microbiota will be an extremely safe strategy to reduce the risk of HIV acquisition during the first two years of life, when a child is breastfeeding.

Project Leader: Ria Goswami, PhD
Division: Infectious Diseases

Duration: 10 weeks
Workplace: Fully On-Site 

Research on Hospital Discharge for Children with Medical Complexity (Research)

Dr. Lee is a health services researcher with an interest in improving the quality of hospital discharge for pediatric patients with medical complexity. We are seeking a summer student who can conduct a literature review and recruit parents of children with medical complexity to participate in a research study aimed at understanding their hospital discharge experiences. The student will also acquire knowledge in principles of study design and scientific writing. 

Strong communication and interpersonal skills are essential for this role. Proficiency in Spanish is an asset, as we aim to recruit a diverse patient population.

If interested, clinical shadowing experience in pediatric hospital medicine can be arranged in addition to the research component.

Project Leader: Jimin Lee, MD, MS
Division: General Pediatrics

Duration: 6 weeks or 10 weeks
Workplace: Hybrid

Neonatal Virus Infections (Research)

Work with the laboratory of neonatal immunity (PI: Permar) to assess immune responses that are associated with protection against early life infections, such as HIV, cytomegalovirus, rotavirus, and SARS-CoV-2, in both animal models and human cohort studies.  Candidate will learn how to perform measures of antibody and cellular immune responses and relate those responses to protection or susceptibility to infection.

Project Leader: Sallie Permar, MD, PhD
Division: Infectious Diseases

Duration: 10 weeks
Workplace: Fully On-Site 

Patient Safety (Clinical/Quality)

This internship opportunity allows a college/graduate student to learn about Adverse Events (AE), preventable (safety Events) and non-preventable AE and methods to analyze safety events including retrospective views such as Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and a prospective view such as Learning from Excellence and Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA). The intern will have an opportunity to join an existing project which focuses on implementing intervention/s to improve patient safety.

Project Leader: S. Nena Osorio, MD
Division: General Pediatrics

Duration: 6 weeks
Workplace: Hybrid

Quality Improvement (Clinical/Quality)

This internship offers an immersive experience into basic methodology used to improve Quality of Care provided to pediatric patients in both, inpatient and outpatient setting. Interns will have an opportunity to join an existing QI project, design intervention/s and test their intervention via 1-2 Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles.

Project Leader: S. Nena Osorio, MD
Division: General Pediatrics

Duration: 6 weeks
Workplace: Hybrid

The Compass Program for Transgender and Gender-Diverse Youth (Patient Education)

The Compass Program is a multidisciplinary program for transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) youth that provides gender-affirming care in a safe and welcoming environment. We are seeking an intern to develop patient education materials and compile community resources for TGD youth and their families. Additional activities would include researching LGBTQ competency curriculums for trainees and assistance with the development of a clinical database. There will be opportunities to shadow clinicians in our program and participate in community and advocacy efforts to support the TGD community.

Project Leader: Jane Chang, MD
Division: General Pediatrics

Duration: 6 weeks
Workplace: Hybrid

Health for Life Program (Patient Education/Community Engagement)

Health for Life is a family-centered lifestyle intervention program for overweight children and adolescents. The multidisciplinary team works with patients and their caregivers to provide individualized nutrition and physical activity goals. We are seeking an intern to volunteer with our Fitness Coordinator (FC) this summer. Opportunities would include compiling physical fitness resources (both in-person and on-line) appropriate for our patient population, developing patient education materials around staying physically active, helping the FC with age appropriate fitness assessments and group activities, and participating in outdoor summer programming opportunities for our youth.

There will also be opportunities to shadow physicians in our program, work on literature review projects related to childhood obesity, and participate/learn from ongoing research projects.

Project Leader: Marianne Sharko, MD, MS
Division: General Pediatrics

Duration: 6 weeks
Workplace: Hybrid

Finance and Operations in an Academic Health System (Administration)

This internship opportunity allows a college/graduate student to familiarize him/herself with the quadripartite mission: clinical, education, research, and mentoring in the academic health system with the day-to-day operations in one of the largest Departments in a top-ranked medical school. The intern will assist with a wide range of duties, including analyzing data, models preparing financial reports, data entry, and collaborating with the Chief Administrative Officer and other administrative staff on program development. In addition, there will be opportunities to shadow clinical operations, learn about access and practice efficiency. A background in finance, health administration, economics, or accounting is preferred. Proficiency in Microsoft Office is required.

Project Leader: Anita Mesi, MBA
Department: Pediatrics

Duration: 6 weeks
Workplace: Hybrid


  • Weill Cornell and other medical students
  • University/college graduates
  • Current university/college students
  • Current high school juniors/seniors


The internship is full-time and offers two options: a 6-week program or a 10-week program from June 3rd through August 9th, 2024. Students can apply for up to two programs in Pediatrics. The application process for the student will include their resume and any additional information (i.e. letter of recommendation) and those documents and the application will be shared with the program leads. 


A modest stipend will be offered at the completion of the internship. 

Important Information

  • Housing, food, and transportation expenses are not covered.
  • Candidates will be informed of their selection by March.
  • We are unable to sponsor visas.


"The DoP Summer Internship not only allowed me to engage in childhood epilepsy research, but also to learn about adjacent fields from my colleagues each week. The program leadership fostered a collaborative environment and I still worked closely with my lab members from the summer. By encouraging me to take the lead on my project, Dr. Grinspan’s mentorship helped me become comfortable geocoding and performing my own statistics with R."
— Carson Gundlach, Class of 2026, Weill Cornell Medical School

"During my internship, I gained valuable insights and hands-on experience in quality improvement and patient safety. I actively contributed to ongoing QI projects and collaborated with a dedicated team of healthcare professionals. Ultimately, the pediatric internship program enhanced my understanding of pediatric healthcare and connected me with inspiring mentors who have profoundly influenced my career aspirations."
— Jonathan Colaco, Class of 2025, Cornell University

"Interning with the Compass Program for transgender and gender diverse (TGD) youth under the WCM Pediatrics department last summer was transformative. I worked with a passionate team that provided me with numerous collaborative and shadowing opportunities. Not only did these opportunities develop my individual skills (eg. in developing educational materials, compiling resources, patient interaction, grant writing, etc), but I came away with a deeper understanding of the health of TGD youth, LGBTQ health, and how to provide holistic and interdisciplinary care. In addition, given the political targeting and increased marginalization of TGD youth across the nation, it was especially inspiring to see such empathetic, life-saving care in action. This cemented my desire to pursue medicine to continue this work."
— J Banson, Class of 2026, Brown University

"I truly appreciated my time as a summer intern. I was able to witness the work that happens in a hospital on a day to day basis as well as gain a deeper understanding of Quality and Patient Safety. I was able to participate and ask questions both in person and via zoom about the clinical research being conducted in this field. I greatly valued my time as an intern and enjoyed working with my peers and learning from the amazing medical teams." 
— Maya Silver-Lewis, Class of 2025, Brown University

Pediatrics Weill Cornell Medicine Appointments & Referrals: (646) 962-KIDS (646) 962-5437 Chair's Office: Weill Cornell Medicine 525 E 68th St.
Box 225
New York, NY 10065 (646) 962-5437