) There is a need to motivate students who are entering the health professions to pursue careers in cancer research. This is particularly true of minorities, who are currently underrepresented in biomedical research. This proposal seeks to provide short-term cancer research experiences for medical students and college students, particularly underrepresented minority students. The long-term goal is to stimulate interest and commitment to careers in cancer research. The short-term goal is to attract and motivate students to pursue cancer research by providing research opportunities with experienced EVMS investigators engaged in contemporary basic or clinical cancer research.
The specific aims of the project are to: 1. Provide students with the opportunity to conduct cancer research-related investigators with a faculty mentor. 2. Expose students to biomedical research with an emphasis in oncology, and 3. Encourage students, especially underrepresented minorities, to pursue clinical and/or research careers in cancer. Students for the program will be selected from applicant pool consisting of students from Eastern Virginia Medical School, Hampton University, and Norfolk State University. Students will be selected by a committee consisting of members from the three institutions, and assigned to a mentor based on their interests. The research phase of the program will be bolstered with an educational component consisting of a course in Cancer Biology. Additional educational and research training will be provided in the form of research reports by students, and a weekly cancer journal club to present and discuss cancer research papers. The students will be expected to present the results of their work at a research conference to be held at the end of the program. Mechanisms to evaluate the program are designed to assess a) student achievement of research objectives; b) the research experience and program design; and c) short-term and long-term outcomes.