As we continue to advance our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) roadmap, one of our goals is to ensure a strong pipeline of leaders at every level. To support this, we launched a diversity focused internship initiative aimed at tackling the equity and inclusion challenge in the genetics industry. Our focus: to prepare the next generation of diversity leaders in genetics so that we can create greater access for all communities. We are proud that our efforts are leading to fulfilling this ambitious goal. 

We partnered with North Carolina Central University, a historically black university based in Durham, N.C. Four exceptional interns were selected to participate in our inaugural internship program designed for diverse students in science at Historically Black Colleges & Universities. Our goal is to broaden this program to include other schools that focus on a diverse student body with a focus on science. Our interns engaged with Myriad Genetics leaders, focused on scientific projects in our lab, research and development, and a range of projects gave them a comprehensive overview of our company. They were left with a fulfilling experience and more motivated to work on initiatives that raise health awareness in communities of color. Our interns have bright futures as physicians, researchers, and genetic counselors. We could not be prouder!  

As they wrapped up their internship, we asked them to talk about their experience at Myriad Genetics and to offer advice to future interns.

Chisom Ezenwenyi

Major: Biomedical sciences

Mentor: Erin Mundt

Project: Mined scientific and clinical literature to assign population frequency values to genetic variants, with the goal of improving gene classification

How the internship changed her path: “I came into this internship leaning toward going for a PhD after college. Now I also want to get a master’s degree in genetic counseling. I had never heard of genetic counseling before, but now I see that there are a lot of different roles that genetic counselors partake in.”

Advice for future applicants: “If you’re interested in science and a little bit unsure of what you want to do, this internship would be the best opportunity because you learn about a lot of things, meet a lot of people, and get a different perspective through this company.”

Janna Campbell

Major: Biomedical sciences

Mentor: TJ Slavin, Debora Mancini-Dinardo, David Mehr

How the internship changed her path: “I learned a lot more about genetic testing and genetic counseling, and am more interested in them now.”

Project: Worked with the Precise Oncology Solutions team to help with the launch of the Precise Tumor molecular profile test by obtaining data from pathology reports about variant classifications for cancer subtypes.

Advice for future applicants: “If you’re interested in the industry and what research looks like in the industry, this is a good internship for that.”

D’Noivlle Fenwick

Major: Biomedical sciences

Mentor: Kambiz Karimi

Project: Compared case and control population frequencies to determine the total disease allele count for various populations and enable improved variant classification for people of all ancestries

How the internship changed her path: Fenwick enjoyed her project so much that she will continue to work with Karimi on more population frequencies even after her internship is complete. In addition, she may broaden her career goal of becoming a neurosurgeon to add a PhD degree in genetics.

Advice for future applicants: “You have to have some type of interest in genetics, but keep an open mind about the different departments in the company. You might find something you didn’t know you’d want to do. Also, network a lot.”

Ashley Mayfield

Major: Chemistry

Mentor: Dale Muzzey

Project: Evaluated advantages and disadvantages of long-read DNA sequencing platforms, which may be incorporated into future genetic tests to improve accuracy

How the internship changed her path: “I got to shadow a genetic counselor here, and that was pretty cool because I want to go into that field. It also sparked my interest in doing research.”

Advice for future applicants: “Be willing to work. This internship is great for somebody who is understanding, dedicated, and open-minded.”

We are so proud of this group of interns and wish them all the best in the future! Stay tuned for more details about future internship opportunities at Myriad Genetics.

Myriad Genetics at J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

Paul J. Diaz, president and chief executive officer, Bryan Riggsbee, chief financial officer, and Dale Muzzey, chief scientific officer, presented at the 41st annual J.P. Morgan (JPM) Healthcare Conference.