Children's National Health System - Sheikh Zayed Institute


PICS Organization Name
Children's National Health System - The Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation


Washington, District of Columbia

Weekly Stipend

Public Transportation

Housing Provided

Former Interns
Phillip Taylor '21,  Aleksandra Kostic '20 

Former Intern Projects
Office presentation icon2017 (Aleksandra Kostic '20)

Organization Description
An internationally recognized pediatric hospital with over 140 years of experience, Children’s National Health System is a center of excellence in the treatment of pediatric diseases. Children’s National is also home to the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, an institute devoted to advancing the frontiers of pediatric healthcare through cutting edge technologies, such as quantitative imaging. Founded in 2010 through a $150 million gift from the government of Abu Dhabi, the mission of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation (SZI) is to make pediatric surgery more precise, less invasive, and pain free. The Institute currently has more than 20 investigators primarily affiliated with the institute and more than 70 technical and scientific staff, including postgraduate and graduate students and fellows.

The Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Medical Center is redefining what is possible in surgery through innovative, integrated research.  The Institute’s physician-scientists are applying their expertise in their specialized fields to pursue the common goal to make pediatric surgery more precise, less invasive, and pain-free. By combining research and clinical work in this area, the Institute is developing knowledge, tools, and procedures that will benefit children in the Washington region, across the country, and around the world.

Through four key initiatives, our physician-scientists are making team science a reality as they address four initiatives simultaneously:

  • Pain medicine -- developing tools and techniques to eliminate pain in children before, during, and after surgery
  • Bioengineering --using the most advanced technology to see inside a child’s body without the need for incisions
  • Immunology -- using a child’s own immune system to fight illness and cure disease
  • Systems Biology --personalizing treatment for every child depending on their unique genetic makeup, to improve treatment and cure disease

Internship Description

Position: Image Analysis Tools (Dr. Marius Linguraru) 

The PICS intern will work closely with a team of pediatric scientists, radiologists and surgeons in the Bioengineering Initiative of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System to help design, develop and validate quantitate image analysis tools to define accurate and reproducible measures of pediatric diseases. Sample projects include the quantitative characterization of hydronephrosis severity in ultrasound imaging, the computer-aided assessment of small bowel motility and structure from dynamic magnetic resonance imaging of Crohn’s diseases, and the automated facial analysis from photography of patients with genetic disorders. Projects will be matched based on their stage of development and the fellow’s skills to maximize the outcome and impact of the internship. Participating in these projects, the fellow will be exposed to state-of-the-art computer-aided diagnosis and intervention. As in previous years, we anticipate offering co- authorship of an abstract or paper to successful interns.

The intern will work closely with Dr. Marius George Linguraru, DPhil who will be his/her primary mentor. The intern will also be integrated into the Institute’s Summer Student Innovators program, consisting of college and graduate students from various disciplines. As part of that group, the intern will learn about the theory and practice of biomedical innovation and attend state-of-the-art clinical procedures (such as robotic-assisted minimally-invasive interventions). The student will have the opportunity to experience all aspects of the Children’s Health System in Washington, D.C. to include observation in the operating room, observation of the children in clinic, patient rounds with the medical staff and professional lectures throughout the summer. The Sheikh Zayed Institute is unique in the world, and this internship represents an exciting opportunity to experience cutting-edge technology development in a collaborative multi-disciplinary environment.

Required Skills/Experience:

  • Programming
  • Mathematics 
  • Research


  • Image analysis 
  • Statistics

Expected Start Time
9:00 am, variable 

Expected End Time
5:00-6:00 pm, variable

Required Dates
06/01/21 - 8/06/21

Internship Length
10 Weeks

Could This Internship Take Place Remotely If Necessary?

Additional Info

Internships at Children's National require an onboarding process that must be completed prior to the start of the internship. Failing to complete the onboarding on time will result in internship being revoked.

Evaluation Excerpt

It was a very educationally enriching experience, and I feel as though expansion on the work that I have done has the potential to benefit medical technology...My supervisor showed interest by challenging me to do new things, so I learned a lot of new skills. He also made sure that I never felt too pressured, knowing that research is never perfect.
—Aleksandra Kostic '20

It was pretty obvious to me how working in a children's hospital accomplished these goals. Especially by being included in the engineering realm of the hospital, I was working alongside the people who were inventing new technology to improve the lives of the most vulnerable members of the population.
—James Jared '19

It was rewarding to see technical knowledge applied in a meaningful way that helps improve the healthcare of children, and inspired my own goals to use technical skills to improve others' lives. I have learned about my capabilities to learn new concepts and adapt quickly in order to effectively contribute to the project I was assigned. —Phillip Taylor '21