Meet RTI Interns

We host interns every year in a variety of research programs.  Meet a few of our interns and learn about their experience.


Darya Cheng

Darya Cheng

Darya interned at the RTI Eastern Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Core (RTI RCMRC), characterizing serum metabolomic profiles of drug-induced liver injury biomarkers to develop a minimally invasive, accurate, and inexpensive method to predict liver injury before it is irreversible. She also contributed to an RTI RCMRC pilot and feasibility study with UNC Chapel Hill, analyzing metabolic flux in response to drug treatment in leukemia cell and animal models. She previously worked at Duke University Medical Center researching NK-1 receptor types in cancer and is fluent in Chinese as well as French. Darya holds a BS in biology (pharmacology concentration) from Duke University and is currently applying to pharmacology graduate schools.

Cayce Dorrier

Cayce Dorrier

Cayce interned with the Center for Aerosol and Nanomaterials Engineering, testing an early-stage, in-vitro model of the human gastrointestinal tract to be used in future toxicity research of digested nanomaterials. Her research involved testing the cell permeability, brush border enzyme activity, and the viability of cells when introduced to bacteria present in the small intestine and digested silver nanoparticles. From her RTI Internship, she has gained new research techniques such as co-culturing cell lines in transwells and microfluidic devices and learned about various RTI scientists' research endeavors. Cayce is in the Honors Program at UNC Chapel Hill, pursuing a BS in chemistry (biochemistry concentration) and an entrepreneurship minor.

Gil Bezerra Filho

Gil Bezerra Filho

Gil interned with the RTI Small Business Office, researching international small business development opportunities for RTI expansion by identifying target industries, potential partners and clients, and market budget trends. This internship provided Gil business development experience in a U.S. based non-profit, allowing him to explore his career interests in strategic roles within companies to make an impact on the world. He is from Fortaleza, Brazil, fluent in Portuguese, and was previously a yacht division director for INACE SHIPYARD in Brazil. Gil has a BS in civil engineering from Federal University of Ceará (Brazil) and is currently an MBA candidate concentrating in strategy and financial analysis at Duke University.

Adrien Lokangaka Longombe

Adrien Lokangaka Longombe

Adrien interned in Global Network health research projects, reviewing study protocols, case report forms, and implementation strategies for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) site. He worked on the Maternal Newborn Health Registry, investigating cause of death among pregnant women in low-resource settings as well as a study on the effectiveness of maternal nutrition intervention prior to conception and throughout pregnancy. He holds an MD, serving as country study coordinator in Kinshasa, DRC for various high-caliber health research studies, and speaks five languages (French, Lingala, Otetela, Tshiluba, and Swahili). Adrien is a Rotary Peace Fellowship recipient pursuing an MPH in maternal and child health at UNC Chapel Hill.

Andrew Steffan

Andrew Steffan

Andrew was an environmental modeling intern with RTI's Risk Assessment Program, enhancing the generic environmental model (GEM). He manipulated differential equations to create new models and adapting parameters to describe groundwater flow and chemical fate. He also created a mercury model for multimedia applications to potentially fully integrate GEM into an EPA model. This RTI internship has merged his interests in chemistry, engineering, and mathematics with computer modeling of environmental hazards. Growing up on a farm in Caswell County, NC, has developed Andrew's passion to protect the environment, inspiring his studies in chemical engineering with an environmental science minor at NC State University.

Mariam Abuhaideri

Violetta Yevstigneyeva

Violetta interned with the Global Health Monitoring and Evaluation Team in the International Development Group where she completed a literature review of various HIV/AIDS resource and planning models to develop a new HIV tool. She was involved with several global health research and evaluation (R&E) activities utilizing various analytical tools and writing reports. This internship has allowed her to learn about R&E on a global scale and the various roles of different partners and organizations. Violetta is from Russia, holds a BS in biomedical sciences with Spanish and public health minors from the University of South Florida, and is currently an MS candidate in global health at George Washington University.