The goal of this summer research program at Mayo Clinic is to provide exciting research opportunities for undergraduate and medical students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds or who are disabled. We intend to accomplish our goals by positively influencing underrepresented students toward research careers by providing them with a glimpse of the excitement and rewards associated with research. The primary activity continues to be participation in intense 8} 10 weeks of mentored laboratory or clinical research, especially in the fields of cardiovascular, pulmonary, and hematological diseases. A series of carefully designed organized activities give a broader perspective than any one research mentor can provide. Several elements also specifically provide students with knowledge and skills that will help them succeed in their future educational endeavors.
The Specific Aims i nclude: 1) Provide underrepresented minority students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds with dynamic research experiences under the guidance of a skilled mentor working in an area of cardiovascular, respiratory, or hematologic diseases research. 2) Expose students to a wide array of research areas, both basic science and patient-oriented, through weekly scientific seminars designed for advanced undergraduate and beginning medical students. 3) Through group activities and individual career counseling, challenge students headed toward clinical medicine to think about also doing clinical research. 4) For students supported by this research education grant, provide an extra weekly group meeting to ensure access to minority researcher role models and specific training in communication skills. 5) Motivate and encourage students interested in basic science research to continue this career path by showing them the direct applicability of such research to human disease. 6) Provide direct linkages for summer students to longer-term training in both basic science and clinical research. The program is evaluated by trainees, research faculty mentors and an external evaluator. Tracking of participants is accomplished by regular contact by phone and email to provide advice and to obtain updates. A newsletter published twice-yearly and a directory updated annually is sent to the program alumni. This research education program will provide short-term biomedical research training to a diverse cohort of undergraduate and medical students (e.g. ethnic/racial minorities, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds). The goal is to stimulate these students to include biomedical research in their careers thus contributing to the diversification of the biomedical research workforce.
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