Excellence in Education
CHORI Kicks Off Summer Research Program
"This year's Orientation was just wonderful," says CHORI scientist Vasanthy Narayanaswami, PhD, who works in the Center for the Prevention of Obesity, Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes and co-directs the Summer Research Program with Barbara Staggers, MD. "We had about 150 students applications - around 75 high school and 75 college students - and have about 45 students taking part in the program this year."
Designed to encourage early interest in research and to promote diversity in the sciences, CHORI's Summer Student Research Program matches students with a wide variety of CHRCO's basic and clinical scientists, who help them create a 9-week research project. At the end of the summer, students must present their findings in a one-day symposium, just like any professional researcher would do.
Although both high school and college students have an interest in science and research before starting the program, the goal of the program is to foster that enthusiasm into a greater understanding of research and, hopefully, a commitment to pursuing research in their future careers. As a result, an essential part of the program emphasizes the potential for translational research.
"Sometimes, even I wonder about whether the little molecules I'm playing around with are going to have any impact on the larger picture," says Dr. Narayanaswami. "While I know that it will eventually provide a small piece of the puzzle, a big part of our program is geared toward making sure the students make that connection."
If Ms. Yang is any indication, it seems to be working.
"This is our eighteenth year of the program," says Dr. Narayanaswami. "But this is also our eighteenth year of continuous funding, which makes it even more impressive. Getting continuous funding from NIH speaks volumes for the program."
As Ms. Yang says, "I've always been interested in health and medicine, but I'm now planning on pursuing an MD, while also looking for a way to have an outlet to conduct research."
The Summer Research Program couldn't hope for anything better.Back
Monday, May 16, 2011 11:33 PM