ASPIRE Internship: Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance 2018 World TSC Conference Program Coordinator

Angela Zito
September 14, 2017
Posted in Announcements

ASPIRE Internship Opportunity:

Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance
2018 World TSC Conference Program Coordinator  

801 Roeder Rd.
Suite 750
Silver Spring, MD 20910

The Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance (TSAlliance) is the only US-based national organization dedicated to finding a cure for tuberous sclerosis complex, while improving the lives of those affected. Founded in 1974, it works to improve quality of life for individuals and families affected by TSC by stimulating and sponsoring research; creating programs, support services and resource information; and developing and implementing public and professional education programs designed to heighten awareness of TSC.

Tuberous sclerosis complex–or TSC–is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form in vital organs, primarily the brain, eyes, heart, kidney, liver, skin and lungs. However, the neurological aspects of the disease, such as epilepsy, autism, and neuropsychiatric issues are often the most impactful to quality of life. The TS Alliance’s research program is focused on expanding TSC research through stimulating and supporting basic, translational, and clinical research on the various manifestations of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), furthering the development of clinical therapies and, ultimately, finding a cure for TSC.

The TS Alliance is seeking an intern volunteer to help in the planning of the 2018 World TSC Conference, which will take place in Dallas, TX, July 26-29, 2018.   This three-day event will be held in partnership with the TSC International (TSCi) and will bring together approximately 800 attendees including speakers, physicians, staff, and TSC individuals and families. There will be four tracks including; pediatrics, transition age, adults, and specialty.

The intern will also assist Jo Anne Nakagawa, Director of Clinical Projects and TSC Clinic Liaison in the collection of buccal cells from attendees with TSC who consent to participate in the TS Alliance TSC Biosample Repository and Natural History Database Projects.  The intern may be required to complete an online human subjects research training course. 

The intern will work closely with Christen Bell, Conference Manager and the TS Alliance team to assist in the planning various aspects of the conference focusing primarily on coordinating TSC expert speakers. The intern will work with the speakers to coordinate calls by session to review presentation topics, compile speaker photos and biographies for the program book and event app, and circulate session descriptions. In addition, the intern will assist with event planning logistics with guidance and oversight from TS Alliance staff, as well as attend the event. 


  • Gain experience in organizing and planning an international conference
  • Meet and interact with international scientists and clinicians whose work impacts patients with tuberous sclerosis complex
  • Gain exposure to the professional culture in a national non-profit scientific foundation
  • Network with scientific foundation professionals
  • Gain experience in working with patients and families aligned for a common cause
  • Assist TS Alliance staff on-site at the 2018 World TSC Conference


  • Internship will start November 2017 and run through August 2018 

  • Internship is remote, unpaid, part-time (2-5 hours per week, variable)

  • The intern will support the foundation as needed and gain new skills through phone calls/ conference calls/skype calls 

  • The participating student or postdoc must be eligible for ASPIRE funds (As part of the internship, there will be a required on-site visit to the foundation for a few days at the start of the internship and to attend the conference in Dallas, TX, to help support the execution of the event).
  • Must be US citizen or permanent resident 

Applications due by midnight, Monday, October 16, 2017

Your information will then be passed along to the organization/host who will contact you directly to schedule an interview via phone.


Please review ASPIRE Internship FAQs: Found here
​For further questions, please contact Ashley Brady (

ASPIRE Internship eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants must be a current Vanderbilt University PhD student or a current postdoctoral fellow.
  • All PhD students must have completed all coursework for their degree prior to the application deadline.
  • Biomedical PhD students must also have passed their qualifying exams before the application deadline.
  • If you are not in a department supported by the BRET office, we will also require that you complete a form guaranteeing PI approval to participate in this program.  Please contact Ashley Brady at for more information.
  • If you are an international student or postdoctoral fellow, your visa status may affect your work eligibility. Please contact Ashley Brady to discuss this further.