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Educating the Next Generation
Annual Summer Student Research Symposium

August 10, 2012 – CHORI celebrated the Summer Student Research Symposium this year with its annual day-long extravaganza of poster and oral presentations by the 43 student participants. Now in its 31st year of educating the next generation of scientists, the Summer Student Research program provides the opportunity for high school, college and post-baccalaureate students to work one-on-one with scientist mentors. Over the course of nine weeks, the students learn how to design and test a hypothesis, evaluate the results, and present those results in a professional format.

“The program provides the participants with an opportunity to experience first-hand the world of clinical or basic research, opening the doors of a scientific career to students who might otherwise not have the opportunity,” says CHORI Associate Scientist Vasanthy Narayanaswami, PhD, who co-directs the Summer Student Research Program.

“We provide the opportunity to experience first-hand the world of clinical or basic research, opening the doors of a scientific career to students who might otherwise not have the opportunity.”

While every year the program provides unparalleled access to CHORI clinical and basic researchers, this year the program had two new funding opportunities for students: the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) to provide Clinical Research Experiences for High School Students (link to DDCF article from January) and the Creativity Award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) for introducing high school students to the concept of stem cells and developmental biology.

"The addition to our program of students through the DDCF and CIRM was a resounding success," says Dr. Narayanaswami. "The caliber of students was very high, and because CIRM is a joint partnership with the University of California, Berkeley, we were able to provide mentors from Berkeley for the first time, which was a real pleasure.""It's students like these that tells us, yes, we are doing our job, they are going to go places with their research- this is exactly what we are trying to facilitate."

A number of students this year were able to use their experience in the program as a foundation for engaging with the broader scientific community, with two students going on to present their findings at national conferences and another student publishing the results of her study in a peer-reviewed journal.

“When we have students who not only express their desire to continue with a career in research, but are able to actually begin, even at this early stage, to engage with the scientific community at large by putting their work out there at national conferences and in publications, well, we couldn't ask for anything more.”

As Dr. Narayanaswami says, "It's students like these that tell us, yes, we are doing our job, they are going to go places with their research- this is exactly what we are trying to facilitate."

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Friday, December 28, 2012 1:30 PM

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