The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program will train the next generation of scientists by supporting ten students to work with researchers within the Comprehensive Alcohol Research Center (CARC) and is designed to cultivate their interest in research careers. We have identified many faculty mentors who are working in the area alcohol abuse and alcohol-related diseases. Students will conduct intensive, hands-on clinical or basic science research for 8 weeks in the summer, working with CARC faculty. The goals of the SURE program include: 1) to provide the best and brightest undergraduate students with research experiences;2) to provide students with strong career and research mentoring;3) to increase the participation in research by women and minority students. In addition to their research experience, we have created a tiered mentoring system that includes the research mentor, medical students and more experienced undergraduate researchers. This mentoring system helps build students'confidence in their ability to conduct research, which correlates with the likelihood they will choose a career in this field. Students wil also receive didactic training on: lab safety, responsible conduct of research, HIPPA, use of animals in research, skill development in writing abstracts and presenting research results. At the end of the summer, students will present their data in the Summer Research Poster Session. We will work to recruit 20% underrepresented minority participants. In order to determine the impact the program has on participants, summer interns will complete Goals Attainment Scales (GAS) as well as Research Self Efficacy (RSE) surveys. GAS has been shown to be a valuable and flexible technique for the evaluation of summer research training programs. RSE is a major predictor of career choice and performance. We will also conduct formative and summative evaluations concerning the entire program, in order to determine what programmatic changes may be needed and to tailor the program to better meet the needs of the students. Lastly, working with the Office of Student Affairs, we will implement a career tracking system which will measure the long-term impact of their summer experience on career choices and research participation, thus quantifying the long-term impact of this program. This program will not only help to create the next generation of alcohol researchers but also will provide students with a better understanding of the diversity of alcohol-related diseases.

Public Health Relevance

We propose a short-term research training program for undergraduates in research labs and clinics. The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Program is designed to cultivate students'interest in research careers by preparing them to work on research projects on alcohol abuse and alcohol related diseases. This program will help to create the next generation of researchers who are prepared to conduct the translational research that can transform basic science discoveries into new clinical therapies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Education Projects (R25)
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Health Services Research Review Subcommittee (AA)
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Wang, Joe
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Louisiana State Univ Hsc New Orleans
Schools of Medicine
New Orleans
United States
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El Hajj, Elia C; El Hajj, Milad C; Voloshenyuk, Tetyana G et al. (2014) Alcohol modulation of cardiac matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of MMPs favors collagen accumulation. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 38:448-56