FIWH and FISH, institutes of FUS, a not for profit organization, seeks to provide excellent, hands-on, and multi-disciplinary educational training for the next generation of scientists.

FIWH provides and coordinates global health-focused educational trainings and experiences for committed and dedicated undergraduates with a secondary goal of fostering lifelong compassion and career connection to serve the unmet health needs of the neglected people of the world. By collaborating with pharmaceutical companies, major research universities, and their professional collaborators like the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), undergraduates are able to achieve the third goal of FIWH: to have an impact on improving global health. Within these collaborations, undergraduates are inserted into a critical step in the drug discovery process, pre-clinical research, where they work in real-time and with real impact on the preparation of new and improved drug therapies for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

Since the summer of 2011, FIWH has coordinated an annual, unique, collaborative, NTD Research Program through an innovative partnership with AbbVie, Inc. During the summer months, this program ramps up in Chicago, Illinois and Steubenville, Ohio. Through this program, Franciscan undergraduates learn to work shoulder to shoulder with Dr. Rohde, undergraduates from other universities, AbbVie scientists, and not for profit, NTD partner scientists. Additionally, throughout the summer and the rest of the year, undergraduate leadership is encouraged and opportunities provided for assisting in the educational process with new classes and new research, practicing public speaking for community service and education, and training in scientific writing, preparation of slides, presenting, and publishing.

The Franciscan Institute for World Health (FIWH) has three aims:



Provide real-world research opportunities for undergraduates with hands-on training in the use of cutting edge scientific laboratory techniques and equipment, in state of the art facilities, and with experienced, professional scientists.


Strive to instill a collaborative work mindset and a career-long passion for outreach for the poor and most underserved of the world by forming teams of undergraduates from multiple universities to work in unified efforts to find the best solutions to major health problems.


Collaborate with academic, professional, and industrial leaders and organizations to ensure that the work and the efforts of our undergraduate teams are on the world’s critical path to finding real healthcare solutions to improve global health.

Neglected Disease Research Summer Internship Program 2019

May 28 – August 2, 2019

The application period will open on December 14, 2018. Review of complete application packages will begin on February 4, 2019.

Franciscan University is providing undergraduates the opportunity to perform basic medicinal chemistry research in support of Neglected Tropical Diseases.

View select photos of previous Summer Internships

Neglected Diseases Initiative

This initiative, in partnership with AbbVie for the ninth year, is coordinating, funding, and continuing to pioneer a unique medicinal chemistry learning opportunity for undergraduates. It is exclusively for educational, humanitarian, and career learning purposes. The internship takes place at AbbVie in North Chicago, IL (halfway between Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI).

The internship is a 10 week, 30 hour/week intense experience of full-time collaborative research on Neglected Tropical Disease targets side-by-side with AbbVie Medicinal Chemists and Dr. Jeffrey Rohde, Professor of Chemistry at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Interns assume responsibility for a critical step in this global effort: they will prepare a series of new small molecules as potential novel drug therapies. Immersed in a state-of-the-art scientific environment, students will learn to conduct medicinal chemistry research, follow and evaluate experiments using spectroscopic services, record progress and results in an e-notebook, register compounds into AbbVie’s compound repository, and regularly give updates on their efforts in team meetings.

Undergraduates at the invited institutions or by invitation are eligible to apply, including seniors committed to continued higher education in the sciences and/or medicine, who have or will have successfully completed a full year of introductory organic chemistry with lab before the summer of 2019. Preference will be given to Chemistry majors. Successful interns are eligible to apply to return for up to 4 consecutive years with increasing leadership opportunities.

Each intern will receive a $2,500 stipend, plus housing and essential transportation for the summer. Interns are responsible for transportation to and from Chicago.* Housing during the summer of 2018 was at the Margarita European Inn, Evanston, IL and will be determined for 2019 once interns have been selected.

If there are any further questions, please contact Dr. Jeffrey Rohde at [email protected].

* If this responsibility is of significant concern or cause for hardship when considering applying for this internship, please contact Dr. Rohde immediately and directly at [email protected] to discuss further.

Dr. Jeffrey J. Rohde
Dr. Rohde

Professor, Department of Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering

Director, FIWH and Co-Director, FISH

View Dr. Rohde’s faculty page

As a Harvard graduate and medicinal chemist for nearly 13 years, Dr. Jeffrey Rohde came to Franciscan to teach Organic Chemistry in 2009. From the start, he had plans and the idea to also accomplish something else: he wanted to pass on his passion for basic research to his students. Dr. Rohde successfully launched the Franciscan Institute for World Health (FIWH) in 2010 to do just that. In the summer of 2011, the first Neglected Tropical Disease Research Program was successfully run in Chicago with 3 Franciscan undergraduate interns. Fast forward to today, FIWH programming continues to grow and to thrive with ever-increasing initiative, drive, and leadership from Franciscan undergraduates. Dr. Rohde and Franciscan seize upon the momentum, the model, and the opportunity to expand the scope and to broaden the support to all of the science and engineering programs with the founding of FISH. This is the future being realized today.

FIWH Students
Support Our Important Research

Help support the work our students are doing on neglected diseases through FIWH.