New Additions to the Growing AxoSim Family in Summer 2018

(L to R) Ashlynn Henderson, Sam Belden, Derek Spillane, Feroze Mohideen, Chloe Johnson, (not pictured) Kameron Sedigh

This summer, AxoSim hosted an intern class of 6 highly driven students pursuing careers in the science industry and the time has just flown by! The Summer 2018 cohort worked diligently on core projects in our company that will continue to make a lasting impact on our future growth. Each intern came to us sponsored by an organization, including Newcomb-Tulane College Grant, The Robertson Scholarship Foundation, and YouthForce NOLA. Here’s a detailed look into their experiences and accomplishments this summer:

Growing Skill Sets

One of our key values, dedication to personal and professional development, is a mantra that is implemented daily in our office. From May to August, the interns developed a wide range of skills including research and development, data analysis, quality management systems, inventory, written and verbal communication, microdissection, cell dissociation, biopsy, and microscopy. On the technical and operational sides of the company, they left with valuable hands-on experience in leadership and workflow management. The company culture was amplified by the students’ willingness and eagerness to learn and soak up the processes, workflows, and research behind the projects being created at AxoSim.

If you’ve never heard of AxoSim Inc., we are a biotechnology startup based in New Orleans, LA. With 12 employees (and growing!), we are the epitome of a true startup. As a company, we focus heavily on fostering our culture and upholding the company’s mission and values; our internship program is no different. Our program is small but mighty, offering independently driven, hands on experience in a small startup team atmosphere. Our interns are given the opportunity to take ownership of mission-critical projects such as working on our core projects and helping to build new programs while also sitting in on client communication and grant proposal meetings conducted by the leadership team. Ultimately, each one leaves with professional experience and having made a significant impact on our company.

Becoming Part of the AxoSim Family

This summer, our interns also had the chance to bond and build friendships. Each intern is paired with a mentor from the first day who is there to support them with feedback, guidance, and advice. Completing roadmaps during weekly check-ins with their mentors helped them grow both professionally and personally throughout their 12-week tenures. Not only were they able to meet and work closely with managers and senior leaders, they were also able to join high-impact meetings and lead presentations. With access to multiple resources during their first few weeks, the interns were able to gain an understanding of what we do before they took on their projects.

Team munching down on some pizza during our 2nd Quarter Celebration!

Throughout the summer, we hosted intern- and team-specific events to make sure each intern was fully immersed into the AxoSim family and to get to know each other outside of the work environment. This year, the cohort attended lunches for our new and transitioned employees and also celebrated the company’s 2nd quarter with pizza, laser tag, and bumper cars. The YouthForce NOLA interns also planned an intern-exclusive lunch and World Cup viewing where everyone became more acquainted by sharing more about his or her background, future plans, and funny experiences. Additionally, these Youth Force interns got the opportunity to receive mentorship from college undergrads by their collegiate experience and academic endeavors.

Bumper to Bumper with the AxoSim Team

While fun, the summer at Axosim left a much more significant impact than summer camp for our interns. Alongside our entire team, the interns participated in our bi-weekly SCRUM meeting where each member of the team shares work they recently completed or have in progress. Additionally, our exec members met with the summer interns and shared their career journeys and insights. This year, they got a unique chance to ask execs anything on their minds and learned some intriguing facts about our leaders.

Wrapping Up

Before each of their final days, all of our interns presented the projects they’ve been working hard on all summer. They demonstrated their true commitment and ownership of their projects, the quality of their findings, and even gave next steps and recommendations as well. It was a truly spectacular experience for our team to be able to see how much they had absorbed from their time with us.

Our interns are now heading back to their universities and high schools, taking with them weeks of learning, mentorship, friendships, and new experiences. The team wishes great success in each of the interns’ future and a great school year! We thank them, as we learned just as much as these phenomenal students during their time here.

Meet our 2018 summer interns and learn about the awesome work they’ve done!

Newcomb-Tulane College Scholars

Sam Belden

Hometown: Concord, MA

Major: Biomedical Engineering

University: Tulane University

Classification: Senior Class of 2019

Future Plans: Pursue Masters Degree after Graduation

Focus: Quality Management Systems

I’ve struggled with the idea of what specifically have I contributed all summer because at times I feel like AxoSim is doing way more for me than I necessarily am doing for it. This job gave me the opportunity to learn so much than I ever knew I could know about Quality Assurance, Medical Device regulations, Hazardous chemicals and their waste disposals, calibration requirements on top of the general dynamic and workflow of a startup. It really threw my pretty deep into benchwork lab science within a budding startup which couldn’t be more relevant to my career goals, so I can say with absolute certainty that this internship gave me a ton of value. — Sam

Derek Spillane

Hometown: Long Island, NY

Major: Biomedical Engineering

University: Tulane University

Classification: Senior Class of 2019

Future Plans: Pursue Masters Degree after Graduation

Focus: Research and Development of Arising Technologies

My summer at AxoSim was an incredible learning experience. Not only was I able to see how a lab functions on an everyday basis, I also received insight into the business side of a biotech company. Working very closely with the company’s Chief Business Officer, Ben Cappiello, I was able to receive valuable advice on how to approach my research and learn about the inner working between AxoSim and licensing new technologies as part of AxoSim’s expansion efforts. Overall, the most rewarding aspect for me was that I felt that I made a positive impact, even as an intern. — Derek

Robertson Scholars

Kameron Sedigh

Hometown: Smithtown, NY

Major: Biomedical Engineering/PPE (Philosophy, Politics, Economics) Certificate

University: Duke University

Classification: Junior Class of 2020

Focus: Automation of Data Analysis

I am incredibly grateful for everyone at AxoSim, from those that first gave me a chance to intern there this summer to the tremendous support and impactful conversations I had with each and every member of the team. What I learned at AxoSim will apply to more than just biotech and biomedical engineering, but also to my life at Duke and my eventual future career aspirations. This experience has just put even more of a fire in me to explore and find new growth opportunities. I am still reflecting and realizing all of the skills I learned during my time at AxoSim, and I am grateful to have people there that I will still feel comfortable staying in touch with and looking towards for guidance in the future. — Kameron

Feroze Mohideen

Hometown: Briarcliff Manor, NY

Major: Biomedical Engineering/Computer & Electrical Engineering

University: Duke University

Classification: Junior Class of 2020

Focus: Automation of Data Analysis

One of the aspects of working as an intern at AxoSim that I greatly appreciated was the culture of the company. First, there was a culture of openness. I felt comfortable asking questions about the company or what a specific individual was doing, and would receive genuine and helpful answers and advice. The whole company had bi-weekly morning meetings where each person (including the interns) would update everyone else on their progress and what they planned to do. Everyone was aware of the work being done by different facets of the company, from research findings to investor meetings.
The culture of the work environment at AxoSim is an ideal one. Everyone was willing to help me and offer advice, whenever I had a question or struggled with an assignment. A particular aspect of the staff that I really enjoyed was that I felt like everyone was friends with one another. Between staff laser tag and a staff potluck after work, it was refreshing to see that a business consists of people who don’t just got to work during the day then go their separate ways. There was an apparent bond between the staff and I think that is something that is overlooked and important when it comes to the long-term success of any goal. — Feroze

YouthForce NOLA

Chloe Johnson

Hometown: New Orleans, LA

High School: New Orleans Charter Science & Math High School (Sci High)

Classification: Senior Class of 2019

Future Plans: Attend Rice University and Become a Neurosurgeon

Focus: Inventory and Learn In and Outs of a Startup Company

One of my favorite things about my internship this summer was being a part of an intern cohort. I got to meet different interns from different colleges which was a really exciting. I learned about what they major in what it’s like to be in college, the college application process, and what they plan to do after college. I learned all of this from one of my task given to me which was planning an intern event. Not only this summer did I talk to interns I also talked to the staff and learned their story, how they got here, what their interest are and what its like to work at AxoSim Inc.
Overall, I learned a great deal of things this summer. In the lab I watched cell media being made and I learned how to use an autoclave. This may seem like a minor deal to other people but it was really special to me because the AxoSim team took the time out of their busy days to sit and teach/talk to me which meant a lot. I couldn’t be thankful enough to have the opportunity to shadow them for five weeks! — Chloe

Ashlynn Henderson

Hometown: Harvey, LA

High School: New Orleans Military & Maritime Academy (NOMMA)

Classification: Senior Class of 2019

Future Plans: Attend Nursing School to Become a Traveling Nurse

Focus: Inventory and Learn In and Outs of a Startup Company

The part of this experience that has been most memorable for me would be just bonding with the staff with things such as planning for new and leaving people. I learned the most by just talking with everyone honestly, when time is limited to just 4 weeks you have to adapt to learn what you can when you can. I built relationships within the company that will help me succeed in the future. AxoSim has made me consider changing what I want to major in for college, but also helped me feel more confident about just succeeding. I am truly just glad that I got to be a part of something that is ground breaking and truly innovating that majority of high school and even college students will never be able to experience. — Ashlynn

YouthForce NOLA: YouthForce NOLA is an education, business, and civic collaborate that prepares New Orleans public school students for successful pursuit of high-wage, high-demand career pathways.

Robertson Scholars: The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program invests in young leaders who strive to make transformational contributions to society. During this journey, Robertson Scholars learn to create change, foster collaboration, turn their passions into action, and have a palpable impact in their communities. The experience of being a Robertson Scholar helps students become thoughtful, creative, lifelong contributors to society — the kind of citizens and leaders prepared to meet the unprecedented challenges of our interdependent world.

Newcomb -Tulane College Grant: All Newcomb-Tulane College students (full-time undergraduates at Tulane University) are eligible to apply to year round and summer grants offering diverse learning experiences for Tulane’s students.


Quenton Stevenson