The Future of Neuroscience: Top Students Selected For Hands-on Research Internship at Max Planck

June 14, 2023

Eight talented students have been selected for Max Planck Florida’s 2023 High School Internship program. The students, representing seven schools across Palm Beach and Martin Counties, will work alongside top researchers on neuroscience research and scientific programming projects during the six-week program.

More than 80 students applied for the competitive MPFI Internship Program, which looks for students who are not only high academic achievers but who demonstrate a genuine interest in neuroscience research.

This year’s interns are:

  • Elizabeth Coller, Martin County High School
  • Hailey Garcia, Palm Beach Central High School
  • Jonathan Hus, Donna Klein Jewish Academy
  • Connor Johnston, Jupiter High School
  • Dylan Nguyen, A.W. Dreyfoos High School
  • Jacob Ryabinky, Suncoast High School
  • Makena Senzon, A.W. Dreyfoos High School
  • Lydia Taylor, Saint Andrew’s School

The students will work on projects such as developing techniques to visualize neural circuits and programming algorithms to help researchers identify key cells in the brain. At the end of the program, students formally present their work and share what they discovered during their time at MPFI.

“I’m so excited to see what this year’s class accomplishes,” said Head of Education Outreach, Dr. Ilaria Drago. “This internship not only gives them a glimpse of themselves as scientists, but it also provides the mentorship and experience that we hope will inspire a lifelong love of research.”

The MPFI Summer Internship Program is a donor-funded initiative. More than 70 students have participated in the program since the institute opened in 2012, and participants have gone on to top colleges, with many pursuing scientific careers.

While the internship may only be six weeks long, Dr. Drago explains that its impact extends even further. “I cannot overstate how talented these students are. They are creative and passionate and help shape MPFI as much as we hope to impact them. Each new class inspires me because I know I am looking at the people who are going to change the world.”