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Opening the Doors of Clinical Research
CHORI Receives Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Training Grant

January, 2012 – CHORI is pleased to announce that its Summer Student Research Program is one of the recipients of the highly coveted Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) Grant to support Clinical Research Experiences for High School Students (CREHSS). Only nine institutions were selected from a pool of 63 applicants across the nation to receive three years of funding to provide high school students from underrepresented minorities in medicine the opportunity to participate in mentored clinical research activities.

"The Summer Student Research Program is a core element of CHORI's commitment to educating the next generation of scientists, and we are thrilled to join with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in helping making funded clinical research experiences a reality for high school students who would otherwise not be at liberty to spend their summers immersed in the wonderful world of research," says CHORI Executive Director, Alexander Lucas, PhD.

“We are thrilled to join with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in helping making funded clinical research experiences a reality for high school students.”



CHORI's Summer Student Research Program pairs students from high school through post-graduate school with CHORI clinical, basic and translational researchers who serve as their mentors over the course of nine summer weeks. Students work with their mentors to identify a hypothesis, develop a research proposal, conduct research, and present that research in a public and professional format at the annual CHORI Research Symposium.

"We have had an excellent educational research training program in place for 30 years at CHORI, and we've had high school students participating in our programs for a long time," says CHORI scientist Vasanthy Narayanaswami, PhD, who, along with Children's Hospital Oakland CEO, Bertram Lubin, MD, serves as a co-principal investigator for the new DDCF award.

As Dr. Narayanaswami continues, "We have all the elements in place for training students, and a very good track record of success, with students who have participated in our program going on to follow research careers. I believe these were key factors in CHORI's proposal being so competitive for the DDCF award."

According to the DDCF, the ultimate goal of the Clinical Research Experiences for High School Students program is to increase the diversity of the biomedical research work force by providing the motivation for students to pursue a career in clinical research or a related field. While minorities are the fastest growing segment of the US population, they remain underrepresented in medical research careers. For example, almost 13% of the population is black and about 16% is Hispanic, yet among medical students, only 7% and 8% are black and Hispanic, respectively.

"The mission of the Doris Duke Foundation is very much aligned with that of CHORI's," says Dr. Narayanaswami. "Oakland and the surrounding areas are some of the most diverse communities in the country, so CHORI is well-positioned to open the doors of clinical research to underrepresented populations and the local community at the same time."

CHORI is already accepting applications for the Summer Student Research Program. Please visit our informational page for application guidelines.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012 1:02 PM

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