The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) Department of Internal Medicine has a long history of supporting summer undergraduate research. In addition, the Department also has a critical mass of investigators (at least 14) with research foci on alcohol and its influence in vivo and in vitro. These two features of the Department of Internal Medicine form the backbone of our proposal for a Summer Undergraduate Alcohol Research Program (SUARP). The objectives of this application are to: 1) provide a ten week research experience for undergraduate students that creates opportunity for students to learn first-hand what is involved in performing research and to stimulate their interest in careers in biomedical science 2) introduce undergraduate students involved in a summer research program to the diversity and importance of research related to alcohol and its consequences on health, organ and cellular function 3) recruit qualified undergraduate minority students to a summer undergraduate research experience to encourage their potential future careers in biomedical science. To achieve our objectives, we will build on our existing summer undergraduate research program that provides a ten-week research experience in the laboratories of many NIAAA-funded investigators with new features including a seminar series devoted to topics in alcohol research and a journal club for the undergraduate students. We have in place strategies that allow us to recruit minority students including Native American students and disadvantaged rural students. We will further refine our existing short term and long term evaluation processes to enhance outcomes for the students including increasing their interests in careers in biomedical research.
This application will support a ten-week summer research program for seven undergraduate students to work with investigators at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in a program that includes hands-on biomedical research experience and educational programming. Students will work with a group of committed faculty mentors whose research foci are related to alcohol and its effect on human health. The goal of the program is to encourage students, including underrepresented minority and disadvantaged students, to pursue careers in biomedical research.