Overview of CADSTI-NE Student Internship Program

The Student Internship Program was launched in 2014 by CADSTI-NE. It offers internships at biotech, high tech and other organizations in the U.S., Canada, UK and Caribbean for SPISE graduates who are currently studying at post-secondary or tertiary institutions. The internships are approximately 4 – 12 weeks in duration and provide first-hand working experience for the students to see how STEM is applied to research and development in areas such as: biotechnology, artificial intelligence/ machine learning, software development, electrical engineering, renewable energy, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and aerospace engineering. Specifically, the internships at companies provide an opportunity to:

    • See the diverse career paths available in that industry.  
    • Learn new laboratory techniques and skills
    • Observe how state-of-the-art equipment is operated, maintained and controlled
    • Expand theoretical knowledge for application to research and product development    
    • Network with individuals associated with that industry 
    • Observe the operations and infrastructure of a company

Notable Quotes from Our Interns

Lael Charles (Barbados)
2022 intern
Foursquare Rum Distillery

‘My time at the Foursquare Rum Distillery was an invaluable experience. This internship truly opened my eyes to the applications of STEM in industry and for commercial benefit…working at this world-renowned distillery for three months has allowed me to gain a great deal of knowledge, form connections with professionals in the local science industry and to give me first-hand experience which has further energized my passion for science and innovation.’

Jenalyn Weekes (Montserrat)
2021 intern
CAMP4 Therapeutics

‘I was able to see the functioning of a biotech company from the inside through attending team, department and company-wide meetings and events both on and off-site. I was able to get a sense of what different departments do and how and why inter-department communication and collaboration is important through the inter-departmental meetings. I was also able to network with my co-workers and learn about the biotech/pharma industry through their personal stories.’

Athena Pagon (Jamaica)
2021 intern

‘My time at Lenstec was truly a blessing and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to intern for two months. Even if I don’t make intraocular lenses in the future, I gained so many scientific and soft skills and I’m sure they will be applicable in the future.’

Josh Henry (Grenada)
2018 intern
Emera Caribbean

‘I learned a great deal, not just about … the field of power generation and distribution, but I also learned about the complex relationship between large organizations, the government and the people and how each needs the other to survive … I would recommend this opportunity to any other SPISE alumni.’

Kamau Bridgeman (Barbados)
2017 intern
Sagicor Life Insurance

‘This has been an immensely rewarding experience, I have gained a lot in my time at Sagicor… I learnt a great deal about how the network’s hardware side functions to deliver service to the entire Barbados branch as well and communicate with the outside internet.’

A huge thank you to our host organizations! 

Alexion Pharmaceuticals (USA)
Aphios Corporation (USA)
Boston University (USA)
CAMP4 Therapeutics (USA)
Cogen Therapeutics (USA)
Emera Caribbean (Barbados)
Foursquare Rum Distillery (Barbados)


Genesis Engineering Solutions (USA)
Harris Paints (Jamaica)

HealthPointe Solutions (USA)
Lenstec (Barbados)
Ocular Therapeutix (USA)
Peloton International (Canada)

Precisyx (USA)
Sagicor Life Insurance (Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica, USA)

Synageva BioPharma (USA)
TraceLink (USA)
Trinidad Systems Limited (Trinidad)

U Tech (Jamaica)
Voyager Therapeutics (USA)

We are tremendously grateful to the host organizations for providing these transformative experiences for our Caribbean students! CADSTI-NE plans to facilitate additional internships each summer. Please contact for further information.

Where are the Interns Now?

Shamone Fine

January 2024 – I was a SPISE 2014 Caribbean Development Bank Scholar from Jamaica. I completed my undergraduate degree in 2018 at Trent University with a major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a specialization in Health Sciences. I aspire to transform the lives of patients through innovative and impactful research.
I am now a 1st year PhD student in the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology at the University of Toronto. The main goal of my projects is to identify small-molecule chemical probes for enzymes involved in post-translation modification.
With the help of the CADSTI-NE network, from 2017 to 2022, I gained substantial and diverse research experiences from 4 biotech companies in disease areas, such as neurodegeneration, immunology, and cancer. These experiences include developing and performing multiple assays using molecular and biochemical techniques. I participated in two summer internships, first at Voyager Therapeutics (biotech company that aims to treat neurodegenerative disorders) and then at Vape Manufacturing Labs (biotech company that performs vape product development and release). My time at these companies helped me confirm my career path, develop skills that would not be gained in an undergraduate lab, and better appreciate the complex but rewarding fields of product research and manufacturing. After completing my undergraduate studies, I secured a 10-month internship at Anokion (biotech company that aims to treat autoimmune diseases) and then a permanent position at Turnstone Biologics (biotech company that aims to treat cancer). My time at these companies shed light on the unending challenges in disease-targeted research and confirmed my readiness to pursue such research in graduate school.
I am forever grateful to the CSF, SPISE, CDB (my SPISE sponsor), and CADSTI-NE as my professional journey would not be the same without them.


Desmond Edwards

October 2023 – I was a SPISE 2017 Caribbean Development Bank Scholar from Jamaica. I am now a 2nd year PhD student in Microbiology and Immunology at the Stanford School of Medicine in the lab of Professor Taia Wang. Broadly interested in infectious disease, I am currently conducting research at the interface of immunology and virology. More specifically, my projects include interrogation of the signalling requirements for antibody-dependent enhancement of dengue virus infections, as well as investigation of the mechanisms by which antibodies with different sugar modifications impact the course of viral disease. In the long-term, I want to lead a scientific career that includes not only ground-breaking contributions to academic research, but also involvement in ensuring that the fruits of this research have their maximal benefit to society through public policy, outreach, and education. My time in SPISE and as a CADSTI-NE intern at Voyager Therapeutics were instrumental in helping to clarify my career goals, as well as supporting me on the path to achieve them.

When I started at Voyager in summer 2018, I was right out of high school and had never so much as held a micropipette before, much less conducted any scientific research. Though I had a strong theoretical foundation from academic classes, I had no practical exposure to what it actually meant to be a scientist and do biomedical research. Voyager, however, allowed me to grow exponentially, exposing me to basic yet powerful techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and immunohistochemistry, to name a few. More than simply being a survey of protocols, my internship showed me the beginnings of not only how to consider scientific questions and design the most appropriate experiments to answer them, but also how to think about and evaluate the work done and published by others as a part of the scientific corpus. Good science, however, is not the only important consideration when developing novel therapeutics for eventual use by the public. Being at Voyager also gave me first-hand exposure to the non-scientific aspects of drug development: from crafting reasonable business strategy to navigating the regulatory process, from securing funding for ongoing and future research to forging key corporate partnerships; I gained a holistic understanding of what it takes to bring a drug from bench to bedside. Finally, the funding provided by my internship stipend significantly improved my financial situation, helping ease the financial pressure of my first year and supporting me until I secured on-campus jobs and beyond.

SPISE and CADSTI-NE have been invaluable contributors to my journey thus far. The professional connections I have made, the skills I have learnt, and the friends I have met have served to prepare me for my future career, and it is unlikely that I would be where I am today without this continued support. Many thanks to CADSTI-NE and all her partners for the good work that has been done, and I look forward to being able to pay it all forward many orders of magnitude over!

Abigail Scott

October 2023 – I was the SPISE 2016 Kerosene Lamp Foundation Scholar. I am now a 2nd year PhD student and Herchel Smith Fellow in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. Here, I study relatively unexplored E3 ubiquitin ligases, proteins that target specific substrates for proteasomal degradation, under the guidance of Professor Christina Woo.
In 2017, I obtained my first real job experience at Trinidad Systems Limited (TSL) through the CADSTI-NE internship program. While at TSL, I refreshed my coding skills in Python and tackled coding in C, an older programming language. Through multiple rounds of debugging code, I significantly improved my troubleshooting capability and learned when and how to ask for help – soft skills critical to conducting research. Ultimately, this internship experience inspired me to take an introductory programming class during my first year at MIT. These coding skills were useful to me in my undergraduate research in Structural Biology, enabling me to receive the Merck Prize for outstanding research and academic performance in biophysical or bioinformatics sciences.


I am extremely grateful to SPISE and the CADSTI-NE team for their investment in my development as a scientist. I would certainly not be where I am today without their continued support.

Matthew Clarke

November 2022 – I was the SPISE 2017 Central Bank of Barbados Scholar. I currently work as a Software Development Engineer in Test at TraceLink in Wilmington, Massachusetts. In my current role, I am responsible for testing new software features through the formulation of detailed test plans and the writing of automated tests. I am most excited for the upcoming release of the product that I have been working on since my second summer internship with TraceLink and have continued to work on as a full-time employee.

My first internship at TraceLink as a QA intern in 2020 was established through the CADSTI-NE internship program. This experience led me to change my career goals from wanting to become a software developer to roles which I felt offered more cross-functional collaboration such as a test engineer and project manager. This real-world experience helped me to realize how much I enjoyed the interpersonal interaction in the workplace that these roles offered – a perspective I would not have received simply from school. TraceLink invited me back for a second internship in 2021. During this internship round, I honed my skills of effectively identifying problems before they occurred which is a necessary skill to be an effective test engineer.

The CADSTI-NE and SPISE network has been integral to my educational and professional development. I was first introduced to programming at SPISE and obtained my TraceLink internship through CADSTI-NE which connected me to the company that provided me with the first step for my career after graduation.

See our most recent newsletter for more information.

CADSTI-NE plans to facilitate additional internships each summer.
Contact us at to host an intern!