Alliance for Regenerative Medicine Launches Internship Program for Black Students

Washington, DC – June 17, 2021

Created to address the underrepresentation of Black employees in regenerative medicine, the GROW RegenMed Internship Program has 17 interns in its inaugural class

Created to address the underrepresentation of Black employees in the regenerative medicine workforce, the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) launched the GROW RegenMed Internship Program this month with 17 interns in its inaugural class.

GROW interns, who are undergraduate and graduate students, are working in paid positions at ARM and 13 of its member organizations this summer in a variety of roles, from the lab to regulatory affairs and public policy.

ARM is the leading international advocacy organization dedicated to realizing the promise of regenerative medicines and advanced therapies. ARM’s more than 390 members consist of large and small companies, academic and medical research institutions, and patient advocacy organizations involved in the gene, cell and tissue-based therapies sector.

In the wake of the murder of George Floyd last summer and the ensuing national conversation on race, ARM formed the Action for Equality (AFE) Task Force to determine concrete steps ARM and its members could take to ally with the movement for racial equality and address the underrepresentation of Black employees within the regenerative medicine workforce. The task force recognized that the representation of minority populations, in particular the Black population, is significantly below those populations’ representation in broader society. For example, a report released by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization in January 2020 found that Black Americans comprise only 4% of biotechnology company workforces while making up around 13% of the US population.

The task force formed GROW to provide crucial, early-career opportunities in the regenerative medicine sector. ARM and the AFE Task Force believe that improving the representation of Black employees in the sector and cultivating a community of future leaders is fundamental to achieving the full promise of our work.

“Last summer made us really stop and think about the role our sector could play in addressing racial inequality,” said Janet Lambert, CEO of ARM. “GROW is about cultivating a more diverse cell and gene therapy workforce. We have every expectation that today’s GROW interns will become tomorrow’s regenerative medicine leaders.”

ARM is hosting GROW intern Willie Richardson this summer. Richardson, a sophomore finance major at Rutgers University, will work with ARM’s membership team.

In addition to on-the-job experience, GROW interns will have industry mentors for the summer, participate in panels with sector leaders, receive skills training, and attend ARM’s flagship annual sector event, Cell & Gene Meeting on the Mesa, in October.

“This program is designed to be a formative experience, both personally and professionally. ARM and the sponsoring companies share a collective commitment to support these exemplary students in their personal development and the advancement of our life sciences community,” said Faraz Ali, CEO of Tenaya Therapeutics and a founding member of the AFE Task Force.

Tenaya is hosting lab intern Leslie Igbo, who is majoring in cellular and molecular biology and biomedical engineering at the University of Michigan. “We are thrilled to welcome Leslie to Tenaya’s labs in South San Francisco this summer. We look forward to helping her advance her professional goals, as well as to her contributions to our science that is focused on precision medicine therapies for heart disease,” Ali said.

The following interns and organizations are participating in the 2021 GROW RegenMed Internship Program:

  • Ife Awoleye, Prevail Therapeutics
  • Monize Claude, Sigilon Therapeutics
  • Tiara Crosby, National Hemophilia Foundation
  • Desmond Durham, REGENXBIO
  • Devyn Hill, Astellas Pharma
  • Timothy Hunte, Atara Biotherapeutics
  • Emani Hunter, Prevail Therapeutics
  • Leslie Igbo, Tenaya Therapeutics
  • Zainab Olushoga, Prevail Therapeutics
  • Ife Popoola, Tmunity Therapeutics
  • Willie Richardson, Alliance for Regenerative Medicine
  • Jamila Ritter, Amicus Therapeutics
  • Aryana Rodgers, Terumo Blood & Cell Technologies
  • Amal Shabazz, BlueRock Therapeutics
  • Milka Tewolde, BioMarin Pharmaceutical
  • Cassandra Walker, Enzyvant
  • Kayla Webster, Tmunity Therapeutics

Media inquiries

For more information or for media requests, please contact Stephen Majors, Director of Public Affairs for ARM, at

About the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine 

The Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) is the leading international advocacy organization dedicated to realizing the promise of regenerative medicines and advanced therapies. ARM promotes legislative, regulatory, reimbursement and manufacturing initiatives to advance this innovative and transformative sector, which includes cell therapies, gene therapies and tissue-based therapies. Early products to market have demonstrated profound, durable and potentially curative benefits that are already helping thousands of patients worldwide, many of whom have no other viable treatment options. Hundreds of additional product candidates contribute to a robust pipeline of potentially life-changing regenerative medicines and advanced therapies. In its 11-year history, ARM has become the global voice of the sector, representing the interests of 390+ members worldwide, including small and large companies, academic research institutions, major medical centers and patient groups. To learn more about ARM or to become a member, visit