Background

The Lefteroff Internship was formed in 2013 in memory of the late Tracy Lefteroff, a former Fogarty Innovation board member and global managing partner at PwC. Tracy was an influential leader in venture capital-funded life sciences companies and was widely regarded for his perspectives on the industry. His commitment to mentoring and educating the next generation of students, entrepreneurs and innovators in life sciences is carried on through this program.

In fact, Fogarty Innovation believes in education that lasts a lifetime. That’s why we have designed the Lefteroff summer internship program for college students. We want to pique their interest in the healthcare industry and provide valuable on-the-job experience for young people who are just starting to explore career options.

Each summer we host U.S. and international students, and introduce them to the extraordinary world of medical technology. Our hands-on program offers students the opportunity to shadow and work on projects with our startups and medical technology partners, learn from the best in the industry through our mentorship program, and receive guidance from industry experts on their best career paths and choices.

The exposure gained from interacting and learning from inventors, physicians, lawyers, engineers, regulatory consultants, investors and other professionals, offers our interns invaluable knowledge and experience that helps shape their future career decisions.

The Lefteroff Internship was founded by PwC, Fogarty Innovation and the California Healthcare Institute.

Program Goals

The goal of the Lefteroff Internship is to honor Tracy’s legacy by providing college students real-world, hands-on experience and mentoring that will inspire them to join the extraordinary world of medical innovation. Set in a creative and collaborative environment, interns learn, work and network with our entrepreneurs, Fogarty Innovation staff members, outside industry experts and physicians. Through this experience, the interns gain a broader view of the medtech landscape and careers available in the healthcare industry.

Program Objectives

The program is designed to strengthen the medical device ecosystem by inspiring and educating the next generation of innovators. The Lefteroff interns will gain real-world experience in developing new medical devices, while also participating in a structured curriculum of activities designed to provide a broad view of their many career choices and the medical innovation ecosystem. In turn, the CIRs benefit by having access to upcoming, talented individuals to work on specified projects throughout the summer.

Program Overview

The Lefteroff Internship is an intensive eight-week program comprised of four main components:

Immersion with Fogarty Innovation startups

Lefteroff interns are paired with a host CIR, taking a deep dive into one particular company and specific projects that leverage and hone their skillsets via real-world experience.

Exposure to medical professionals and clinical medicine

FI coordinates meetings with physicians with different specialties as well as shadowing and/or clinical observation days at El Camino Health’s Mountain View hospital. This helps students understand what it’s like to be a physician and how they contribute to the medical device ecosystem.

Interaction with the Silicon Valley innovation ecosystem

FI coordinates meetings with a broad range of industry leaders to expand the interns’ understanding of how innovators obtain funding and how companies evolve from early-stage into mature businesses. Examples include meetings with Stanford Biodesign, other incubators, FI senior staff, venture capitalists, or later-stage companies, such as Abbott Labs, Medtronic and J&J.

Education Programs

Lefteroff interns participate in a core curriculum that provides a broader understanding of what it takes to develop medical devices and showcases potential career opportunities. They are invited to join more advanced educational programs developed specifically for CIRs. The core curriculum may include the following introductory seminars:

 

  • Business 101
  • Startups 101
  • Intellectual Property 101
  • Quality Systems/Product Development Lifecycle 101
  • Regulatory 101
  • Clinical Evidence Development 101
  • Driving Towards A Career

Application Process & Program Timeline

Due to COVID-19, the program for the 2021 Lefteroff Internship is tentative and may be conducted in-person, virtually, or a combination. The anticipated application and program dates are listed below, but please check back regularly for updates.

 

  • Applications accepted starting December 14, 2020
  • Application deadline is January 17, 2021
  • Finalist interviews and acceptance notifications occur in mid/late February, 2021
  • Program begins June 21, 2021
  • Program ends August 13, 2021

Additional information regarding the application

  • In support of your candidacy for this internship, we require your completed application, resume AND two (2) letters of recommendation which are due by the application closing date. Please submit your application and resume together, while simultaneously working on your two letters of recommendation, which can be submitted later via email. 
  • Students must currently be attending or just have graduated from college or graduate school.
  • This is an eight-week paid program; students need to be available for the full eight weeks.  Exceptions may be made due to academic calendar variability.
  • Fogarty Innovation does not provide housing or transportation for students.

IN MEMORIAM
Tracy Lefteroff, Former Director

Tracy Lefteroff

Tracy Lefteroff was the former global managing partner of Private Equity and Venture Capital at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), overseeing services to privately owned and venture capital-funded companies worldwide.

Tracy was key to the development of strategic collaborative agreements with many of the major international pharmaceutical companies and assisted in several high-profile industry mergers. He also co-authored the firm’s Practice Standards and Aids for the life sciences industry and was regarded as one of the market’s most prominent analysts.

Lefteroff was with PwC for approximately 25 years. He served on several board of directors, including the Fogarty Institute for Innovation, the Stanford Venture Laboratory, the Biotechnology Industry Organization and the California Healthcare Institute. He was also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California, Washington and Idaho Societies of CPAs.

Testimonials

Note: The Lefteroff program was cancelled in 2020 to comply with state and county restrictions due to COVID-19. Following are testimonials from the Class of 2019.

Parker Callender

University of Wisconsin-Madison; biomedical engineering major, computer science minor

Lefteroff Intern Class of 2019

“Everyone was so accessible and made us feel like we were part of the ‘family,’ as they helped us gain a better understanding of our potential career paths and shared their personal journeys and lessons learned.

Through shadowing clinicians and working among so many medical device companies, the internship helped me see that I have a much stronger love for medicine than I ever thought. Thus I decided to stay in the biomedical engineering program, which provides an excellent technical engineering and medical background.”

Parker partnered with Materna Medical, working on design improvements for one of the startup’s devices which aims to reduce pelvic floor injury during labor and delivery. She also helped with a variety of marketing tasks, including search engine optimization (SEO) to increase website traffic, creating marketing collateral and helping with a case study.

Nathaniel Serrurier

Pomona College, Claremont; public policy analysis major (concentration in biology), Spanish and pre-med minor

Lefteroff Intern Class of 2019

“This was the first time I had the opportunity to utilize some of the skills learned in my major, and it has been an extraordinary experience to see firsthand how policy and the private sector intersect. I always thought that to be in medtech you had to have an engineering background, but through the internship, I realized that my career doesn’t have to be one-dimensional; I could work as a physician but also integrate my policy background to help mentor or work with early-stage medtech startups.”

Nat worked with Mike Regan, CIO of the Fogarty Innovation, most notably participating in meetings with current and potential companies-in-residence, where he got an insider’s view into a variety of technology and product development challenges and an understanding of how companies operate within the Institute. He also researched investments in the medtech industry to identify potential avenues for increased funding in the earlier stages and contributed to a white paper on medtech reimbursement, which he realizes is a critical component of a startup.

Nina Marie Siprashvili

University of California, San Diego; chemical engineering major, psychology minor

Lefteroff Intern Class of 2019

“It was fascinating to follow a patient through their hospital journey, including talking to one before and after brain surgery, which I had the opportunity to watch. Meeting so many different people from various backgrounds, from entrepreneurs to physicians, helped clarify my career path, including eventually pursuing an MBA. I also learned that launching a startup and getting to market is very hard, and simultaneously I was impressed with how personable and approachable the individuals in the industry are.”

Nina worked with palmm to create an electroconductive surrogate for the skin to test how the startup’s electrode designs deliver current. She also worked on grants and other projects related to the business side, as that is one of her interests.

Rohan Thakur

University of Minnesota; neuroscience major, psychology minor

Lefteroff Intern Class of 2019

“One of the unique aspects of this program is that you get both the startup and ‘medical’ culture and learn how they tie together since the Institute is so closely connected with El Camino Hospital. In prior projects at the university, I collaborated with other students and started projects from scratch, making it hard to see the end goal. Therefore, it was nice to be part of a company that already has a defined product foundation and foresees its impact on patients, even if it may take a few years to get to market. I also enjoyed learning about the seasoned executives’ career paths; they may have had some hardships and questioned their path, but in the end, the message was that as long as you are passionate about what you are doing, you will end up loving your job and be successful.”

Rohan worked with Lume Medical, helping develop a prototype and conducting market research and user needs assessment for the company.

Caleb Phillips

Stanford University; science, technology and society major with an emphasis in life sciences and health

Lefteroff Intern Class of 2019

“When I came in, I didn’t know anything about medical devices. Now, thanks to my time with John, I feel I learned so much about the different aspects of what makes up a medical device company. During the program, we had many opportunities to observe surgeries with multiple different doctors; it was particularly fascinating to see procedures where devices were being used to help patients, something that we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience in other settings.”

Caleb worked with John Morriss, director of the Invention Accelerator program at the Fogarty Innovation, and collaborated with physicians at El Camino Hospital on a potential innovation idea for a pacemaker.

Lefteroff Internship Historical Background

The application period is currently closed (see dates above)