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2023 Summer Internship

About the DBMI Summer Internship Program

Since 2011, we have organized an annual 8 - 10 week summer biomedical informatics internship program that has been funded by research grants or cooperative agreements. The summer internship program includes:

  • Structured orientation
  • Weekly scientific presentations by faculty
  • Organized social events
  • Internship symposium (webcast)

We have hosted over 100 trainees from over 40 institutions as part of our summer internship, including trainees for the NIH Short Term Training Positions (STTP) program. The program has generated more than 30 peer-reviewed articles and dozens of scientific posters.  

The internship uses a project-based curriculum where interns need to select a project and mentor during the application process. Trainees work on projects covering a wide range of topics relevant to biomedical informatics, including data integration, image processing, natural language processing (NLP) tools, data sharing and privacy technology, etc.

13th Annual UC San Diego Department of Biomedical Informatics Summer Internship Program Symposium Recap

Event held on Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Opening Presentation: 


Amy M. Sitapati, M.D.

 University of California San Diego

Clinical Professor, Division of Biomedical Informatics, Division of General Internal Medicine

Chief Medical Information Officer, Population Health, UCSDH

Interim Chief, Division of Biomedical Informatics, UCSD

Interim Chair, Department of Biomedical Informatics, UCSDH

Co-Principal Investigator, California Integrated Vital Records System

Site Principal Investigator, UCSD NIH All of Us,

Primary Care Internist, Internal Medicine

Keynote Speaker: 


Richard C. Palmer, DrPH, JD 

Acting Director, Division of Extramural Programs, National Library of Medicine

Dr. Richard C. Palmer is a Health Scientist Administrator in the Office of Extramural Research Administration and Scientific Review Branch at NIMHD. He joined NIMHD in September 2015 as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Policy and Science Fellow. Dr. Palmer has over 20 years of extramural research experience and has been an investigator on NIH and CDC funded research grants.



Matthew Allen is a rising second-year medical student at UCSD. He has a background in information technology and clinical informatics. This summer, Matt is working on a pre-implementation project for two AI tools being developed at UC San Diego for primary care physicians: a population level remote blood pressure monitoring system and an obstructive sleep apnea prediction algorithm.

Presentation Title: Assessing Physician Attitudes and Perceptions Towards Current and Future Applications of Artificial Intelligence for Screening, Diagnosis, and Disease Management in UCSD Primary Care 

Advisor: Gene Kalleberg, M.D. 


Hillary Calderon is a rising junior at UC Irvine, majoring in Public Health Policy with a minor in biological sciences. Her research focuses on the use of nerve blocks in patients of different ethnicities in radial fracture surgery. Her future career goals include pursuing an M.D. and working with minority communities.

Presentation Title: An Analysis on the Differences in Nerve Block Utilization for Radial Fracture Surgery Between Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Patients

Advisor: Dr. Rodney Gabriel, M.D., M.A.S


Coral Castro Rivera is currently a rising senior in Biology at her home institution: The University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez campus. Under the mentorship of Dr. Sally Baxter, she worked in employing a novel flexible electronic medication adherence sensor among minority patients with glaucoma. As a result, she has become a more well-rounded researcher with interdisciplinary skills that she will take with her in the future while she pursues an MD/PhD focused on biomedical informatics. She hopes to use her past wet-lab research training and newfound interest in clinical and informatics to serve minority patients and inform hospital policy." 

Presentation Title: Measuring Medication Adherence with Novel Sensor Technology among Minority Patients with Glaucoma

Advisor: Sally Baxter, M.D.



Yair Diaz is a rising sophomore at Cypress College, with the goal of transferring to either a UC or Cal State. His major is computer science with the hopes to achieve a bachelor's degree at my transfer school. After graduating, he plans on working as a Software Engineer and exploring Cyber Security as another potential area of interest. 

Presentation Title: GWAS & PRS, The Road To Inclusion 

Advisor: Matteo D' Antonio, Ph.D



Saathvik Dirisala is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Data Science (w/ specialization in machine learning and artificial intelligence) at UC San Diego. He aims to conduct research in the fields of machine learning and data science and pursue a PhD in a related discipline after completing his undergraduate studies. His current research under the mentorship of Dr. Kuo focuses on using smart contract and block-chain technology to manage dynamic patient consent data in a decentralized manner and contrasting the efficiency of data access of this method against centralized counterparts. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball and loves spending time with his family and new puppy!

Presentation Title: Decentralized Dynamic Patient Consent Management System for Hierarchical Data Elements

Advisor: Tsung-Ting Kuo, Ph.D.



Kenya Espinoza is an incoming third year at California State University Bakersfield on the pre-med route where she is pursuing a major in Biology with a concentration in Biotechnology and two minors in Chemistry and Psychology. After graduation, her plans consist of pursuing an MD/Ph.D. degree in order to become a doctor who can treat patients and conduct research on diseases to help the community. This summer her research consists of analyzing summary statistics of breast cancer genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and performing fine mapping to discover the causal variants for breast cancer in different populations (African Americans, Europeans, Central/South Asians, and East Asians).

Presentation Title: Using Fine-Mapping to Understand the Differences Between Different Populations on GWAS Loci

Advisor: Matteo D' Antonio, Ph.D.



Kate Jackson is a rising third year at UCSD. She is pursuing a major in Computer Science. She is interested in applications of computer science in bioinformatics and omics. This summer her research focuses on analyzing how mouse cell lines compare to cancer in humans on a transcriptomic level.

Presentation Title: Comparative Transcriptomic Analysis of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Humans and Mouse Models

Advisor: Hannah Carter, Ph.D. 



Eric Jia is a rising senior at Washington University in St. Louis. He is currently studying Computer Science + Math and is interested in pursuing a career in healthcare. His research focuses on applying quantum computing algorithms in NLP techniques to efficiently predict health outcomes

Presentation Title:  Quantum Computing: Can it Reduce Training Latency in Machine Learning

Advisor: Mike Hogarth, M.D. 



Gisel Larios is a third year at California State University Bakersfield where she is majoring in Biology with a concentration in Biotechnology and minor in Women Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is a first-generation student and a U-RISE scholar. She is also a part of the Summer Training Academy for Research Success (STARS) this summer. She plans on pursuing an MD-PhD to study endometriosis and other uterine diseases.

Presentation Title: Identifying Independent Preoperative Risk Factors for Mortality and Morbidity Following Hysterectomy for Gynecological Cancer 

Advisor: Rodney Gabriel, M.D., M.A.S.



Zoe Matticks is a rising second-year medical student at UCSD. She has a background in healthcare consulting and received her MPH in health policy before starting medical school. This summer, she is working to improve cervical cancer screening rates among Medi-Cal patients at UC San Diego Health. The project seeks to better track and manage patient records, mitigate existing barriers to care, and expand the use of trauma-informed pelvic exams in the primary care setting.

Presentation Title: Improving Quality Outcomes in the QIP Program: Cervical Cancer Screening

Advisor: Amy Sitapati, M.D.


Alyssandrei Parinas, also known as Adie, is an incoming junior transfer student at California State University, Long Beach. She is a Computer Science major and is mostly interested in coding. However, she has recently been exploring the field of data science as well as she finds it interesting. This summer, she worked with Dr. Jejo Koola and her research involves using Wearable Technology to Follow Patient Centered Outcomes After Kidney Injury. 

Presentation Title: Using Wearable Technology to Follow Patient Centered Outcomes After Kidney Injury

Advisor: Jejo David Koola, M.D., M.S.



Giselle Perez is a third year at Miracosta college getting her associate degree in computer science with a certificate in software development. She is a Miracosta student ambassador, PUENTISTA, and MEChA Vice President. Her summer research focuses on whether receiving an AI written response versus a physician written response would affect the way the patient reacts towards the message. 

Presentation Title: Public Views on AI-Assisted Physician-Patient Interactions

Advisor: Ming Tai-Seale, MPH, PhD


Closing Presentations:


Jejo Koola, MD, MS
Internship Director


Tsung-Ting Kuo, PhD
Internship Director

Summer Interns and Faculty