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Summer STUDENT Research Program
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Previous Participants in CHORI's Summer Research Program

“I learned more than I did in any class I’ve taken in school.” – SC

Meghan Foe, 2017 Alumnus
This December, I presented a poster about my summer research at the annual American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta, GA. Due to the unusual weather conditions, I was unfortunately only able to attend the conference on the afternoon of my poster presentation, but even that was an eye-opening experience. This was my first time presenting research on a platform of this scale, and I learned a lot about how to communicate my findings to individuals from a wide range of avenues within the field of hematology. Furthermore, I was fortunate to be able to speak with researchers whose projects and interests aligned with my own, and to learn about different perspectives and approaches to exploring the same topic. From these conversations, I was able to think about how my own research project and interests could further develop in the future. Altogether, presenting at ASH was a wonderful experience, and I am so grateful to CHORI and to my mentors at BCHO for the opportunity to do so!

Jia Yu, 2017 Alumnus
Attending and presenting at ABRCMS (Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students) 2017 was truly an eye opening experience for me. I have met some really inspiring leaders in the medical field and had opportunities to interact with them. More excitingly, I got the chance to hear the amazing presentation from Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa (Dr. Q), who is a leading neurosurgeon, scientist and professor at Mayo clinics. Hearing his story of coming to America as a poor immigrant, and finally strived to where he is now is truly the best part of the conference in my opinion. Presenting at a national conference was also a very exciting experience for me. I have heard some valuable comments about my presentation and project. Seeing myself having confidence to engage in a deep scientific conversation with some leading professors and scientists in the field made me really grateful for the training I received from CHORI and my mentor Dr. Ho during the summer. The extensive literature review and presentation practice over the summer allowed me to speak very scientifically and passionately, which made strong impressions on listeners and opened up to some awesome connections. The CHORI program had a huge impact on my education, allowing me to find so many good role models in the field, and providing great opportunities for me to work towards my dream. Thanks CHORI for supporting me to go to ABRCMS and having such a wonderful experience. I am also very grateful for my mentor Dr. Ho for putting time into me, and training me to think and work as a scientist.

Keely Fuller, 2016 & 2017 Alumnus
Accepted Early Admission into Stanford University.

Jackie Diaz, 2016 Alumnus
Admitted to the Professional Scholars Program in Medicine at Case Western Reserve University.

While this internship impacted me as a person, it also provided me with numerous opportunities. In addition to the chemistry internship, I was awarded merit based scholarships from a number of colleges. Among others, I was awarded the Chancellor Scholarship from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (full tuition) and the Florence Moog Scholarship at Washington University, which is a scholarship program for excellence in Biology. I completely owe the latter scholarship to knowledge gained during the summer internship at CHORI and the recommendations that I got from my mentors in this program. The professors who interviewed me noted how impressive it was that a high school student was involved in such advanced research. I was also accepted into the Pre-Professional Scholars Program in Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, where I plan to attend next fall. This program ensures my acceptance into Case Western Medical School as long as I maintain a 3.63 GPA--I won't even have to take the MCAT!

When applying to colleges, the CIRM/SPARK internship gave me a great advantage over my competition. The laboratory and summer experiences as well as the exposure to the medical field were the key to my acceptance into these scholarship and professional programs. During the summer at CHORI, I also found my true passion for helping disadvantaged people. I know that finding their passion is something many people my age have yet to do, and I am beyond grateful that I will start college pursuing success in what I love—working on global/public health issues and becoming a bilingual physician.

Priya Shah, 2016 Alumnus
I attended the PAS Meeting (The Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, which is the largest pediatric research conference in the world!) here in the Bay Area spring, 2017. It was an awesome experience; there were SO many attendees! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend much of it outside of the poster exhibition (because my finals started the next day), but I did get to walk around and talk with other poster presenters. It was especially interesting to speak with people who were performing molecular research on the same medication used in my clinical research project. I loved meeting so
many brilliant minds and learning about other research currently happening with sickle cell. This was part of what drove me to connect with Dr. Kuypers and spend some time in lab with him this summer. It was inspiring to see so many researchers and physicians committed to improving all aspects of children's health. Thanks again for all of your ongoing support; I have learned so much!

Amarjit Bath, 2014 & 2015 Alumnus
Accepted into the Honors Program at St George’s University Medical School with a Humanitarian Scholarship of $44,000.

Ivan Arreola, 2013 Alumnus
I am currently a graduating Senior at the University of California, Berkeley, where I majored in Public Health with a Pre-Medical track, and completed my studies in three years. I have vast experience with Community Outreach, Performance Improvement, Volunteer Management and Program Development. I most recently completed an Administrative Internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, affiliated with Harvard's Medical School Orthopaedics Department, where I mostly aided with their process improvement efforts to standardize their departmental intake process. My current plans include taking a gap year(s) for employment, and strengthening my application for medical school. I intend to do work related to clinical research and potentially applying to academic enhancement post-baccalaureate programs. I have a strong passion for Social Determinants of Health (SDOH); and working with underserved, undocumented, or "at-risk"communities similar to mine. Nonetheless, I am extremely interested in participating in one of the various PRIME-US programs at a UC medical school. Specifically, my top reach program would be the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program, where I would receive an MD/MS to begin my own clinical research protocol!

Vanessa Herrera, RN: I participated in the 2011 CHORI Summer Research Program. 
Having recently graduated from nursing school, I will shortly be working for Kaiser Permanente as a Registered Nurse!
I am grateful for participating in the immersive, eye-opening, and supportive program.
My experience through the wonderful program made a significant contribution to my success today!

Comments from DDCF students 2015 – Anonymous comments from End of Year Survey

“Excellent program that gives students a spectacular opportunity to catch a glimpse into the biomedical world--opens you up to so many opportunities, connections, and experiences. Be open minded when coming in, don't have set expectations like I did. This program really gives you so much experience, knowledge, and skills to move further in the field of medicine. Amazing experience! Let’s you dive into your interests in a serious and big way!”

“You get extraordinary hands-on experience for an extended amount of time - something you don't get to experience in a high school lab.”

CIRM student comments- FY 2015
For example one 18-year old female student wrote, “It is truly an eye opening experience. And I think regardless of interest, anybody should experience the wonderful field of research.

Another 16-year old male student commented about the benefits of the program, “It is a very immersive experience that provides crucial knowledge for the future ahead of us.”

An 18-year old male student wrote “It provides an amazing opportunity in a nurturing environment to conduct research”

another 17-year old male student stated, “CHORI is a very welcoming place and is a great place to learn and research.”.

Erin Mamuyac: (CHORI Alumni 2007 - Kuypers Lab) I participated in the CHORI program following my junior year at Piedmont High School, and worked in Kuypers Lab mentored by Frans Kuypers and Kitty DeJong. After graduating high school in 2008, I attended UC Berkeley where I graduated in 2012 with a double major in Integrative Biology (Honors Program) and Public Health. As a part of my Integrative Biology major I completed an Honors Thesis titled *Metallomic Analysis of Sickle Cell Disease,* which I worked on at the Kuypers Lab under the direction of Dr. Kuypers and Dr. David Killilea.
I am currently a 3rd year medical student at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. I am planning to apply to residency in Otolaryngology in the upcoming year. I believe the CHORI program had a huge impact on my education, and I actually still discuss aspects of my Honors Thesis research at Kuypers Lab during academic rounds at New York Presbyterian. I have given presentations on sickle cell disease during my clinical clerkships, and discuss literature that I used for my Honors Thesis with my attendings on the wards.

Elysia Alvarez:  Has received a scholarship to attend medical school at UC Irvine. (NIH, Mentor: Barbara Staggers)

Nazim El Andaloussi: Has received his PhD in Zurich and has assisted Helen Dichek, MD with a project that resulted in a paper being published in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism. (Mentor: Helen Dichek)

Jessica Drury: Is in her first year at the University of Pennsylvania Nursing School.  She is studying to become a Nurse Practitioner.  She will graduate with a BSN in December, which will be followed up by an MSN a year and a half later.

“The program really allowed you to see what
working in a lab was like." - JB

Peter Hargreaves:  In 2005 Peter was co-author on an article that appeared in the Journal of Lipid Research entitled “Reconstituted high density lipoprotein enriched with polyene antibiotic amphotericin B”.  In 2006, he was first author on an article that appeared in Biochemica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) entitled “Spectroscopic studies of amphotericin B solubilized in nanoscale bilayer membranes” (Volunteer, Mentor: Robert Ryan)

Vikram Jairam: is a semifinalist at the Siemens Westinghouse National Competition for his manuscript based on the research project he carried out in Dr. Narayanaswami’s laboratory. Additionally, Vikram made the semi final list in the Intel Science Talent Search for his work in Dr. Narayanaswami’s lab on structural and functional impairment of apolipoprotein E mediated by acrolein, a product of lipid peroxidation and a tobacco smoke ingredient. (NHLBI, Mentor: Vasanthy Narayanaswami)

“We were treated like we were valuable members of CHORI.
Everyone was flexible and understanding. I felt like they put
time into us and we mattered.” – KT

Conrad Murphy: In 2006 Conrad was co-author on an article that appeared in the Federation of European Biochemical Societies Journal entitled “Replacement of helix 1’ enhances the lipid binding activity of apoE3 N-terminal domain” (Volunteer, Mentor: Robert Ryan)

Gordon Murphy: presented his summer research with Dr. Shigenaga at the Proteome Society Meeting, Cambridge, Massachusetts October 2005. (Volunteer, Mentor: Mark Shigenaga)

“I would recommend (the program) to anyone interested in,
or thinking of, a career in science.” – JC

Nghi Khanh Nguyen: was admitted to Stanford University and received one of 1,000 Gates Millennium Scholarships (Volunteer, Mentor: Gordon Watson).

Leah Richards: poster, made with her mentor, was accepted for the 2005 American Society of Hematology conference. (NIH, Mentor: Zahra Pakbaz)

Logan Wahler: received a $1,000 award from the Elizabeth Nash Foundation for Cystic Fibrosis Research for his work in Dr. Illek’s lab in 2005. (Volunteer, Mentor: Beate Illek)


Revised: Thursday, March 15, 2018 10:03 AM

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