Demi Lambadis, ‘21, attended the third Peter S. Hagerman, ‘61, Lecture in Ethics, when Lehigh welcomed Tyler Schultz to recount his experience as a whistleblower in the Theranos scandal.
Lambadis was attracted to the lecture for its lesson in ethics, but soon thought something more could come out of it.
During the lecture, Schultz shared the story about how he got his job at Theranos. Schultz landed himself an internship at the company by approaching the former CEO Elizabeth Holmes and asking if she accepted interns. At the time, he was only 20 years old — the same age as Lambadis.
“I thought, honestly, if I go up to him right now, he knew what it took to ask a CEO, ‘Are you taking interns,’ and I felt like he would be receptive to me asking that,” Lambadis said.
The worst thing he could do was say no, she thought.
Soon after she gathered courage and strength, Lambadis went up to Schultz and asked if he took interns at his start-up, Flux Biosciences.
Flux Biosciences is helping to push Point of Care Technology (PoC). PoC technology is made up of the devices and systems that support health-care professionals in their daily activities of monitoring patients, caring for them and documenting their health progress.
The technology is backed, and now Flux Biosciences works to make its product more consumer-friendly.
Schultz told Lambadis to connect with him through LinkedIn.
When Lambadis messaged Schultz, she explained that an opportunity at Flux Biosciences would be a perfect fit for her. She has previous internship experience at a start-up company, but it wasn’t in her field.
“I really want to help people — that’s why I’m a bioengineer, (and) that’s also why I’m a Gryphon,” Lambadis said. “Basically, it’s my heart and soul.”
Lambadis takes pride in being a Gryphon in Lower Cents. She said she had a positive first-year experience at Lehigh and wants to help others feel the same way.
Abdul-Nafea Syed, ‘21, works with Lambadis as a Gryphon and takes a class with her. He said that being a Gryphon is a big part of Lambadis’ life.
“She loves her residents,” Syed said. “It’s probably one of the only things she really talks about, or at least talks about with a passion,”
While connecting on LinkedIn, Lambadis asked to set up a phone call with Schultz. During that conversation, they spoke about the technology that Flux Biosciences is working on. At the end of the call, Schultz told Lambadis that he would connect her with engineers and developers who would see where she might best fit into the company.
Though the internship is not yet official, Lambadis hopes to be more hands-on with biotech at the company than she is at school.
“I’ve had labs before, but it’s so different when you’re doing part of the innovation and doing new things, rather than what someone has proved before,” Lambadis said.
One of her friends, Nate Yuchimiuk, ‘21, agreed that the experience of working outside of Lehigh builds confidence and experience in the field.
Yuchimiuk recently started working in a research lab and said it is a totally different ball field. When taking a biology lab with Lambadis, they agreed that the best part of the lab was creating their own projects.
“There may have been previous research out there, but actually designing something yourself, coming up with the idea, and just executing on it is very different, especially if you haven’t done it before,” Yuchimiuk said.
If the internship becomes official, Lambadis will spend the summer in San Francisco. She said she is excited and eager to work alongside members of the Flux Biosciences team and learn from their experiences.