The specific aim of this short-term research education program is to provide an inspirational, in-depth, intensive, perspective-enhancing and -transforming early exposure to pulmonary research at the University of Colorado School of Medicine for diverse and underrepresented undergraduate students in biomedical research ("diversity students") from Princeton University and the University of Notre Dame. Our program design will be each year to recruit 2 trainees from Princeton University and 2 from the University of Notre Dame - both premier universities that do not have their own medical schools. After selection by a diverse and inclusive committee at each university, each trainee will work in the laboratory for 12 summer weeks with a regarded pulmonary investigator/mentor. Each trainee will help design their project, perform hands-on research, attend lectures about research (e.g. data analysis, poster presentation approaches, and research ethics), participate in complementary clinical conferences, receive health professions related career advice from faculty and students of diversity, shadow pulmonary physicians in clinical settings, and be integrated into our school's diversity activities and social community. The innovative features of our program of bringing highly-talented diversity students from these two prestigious universities to the University of Colorado is based on our prior successful experience in recruiting and training non-diversity undergraduate students from Princeton University in summer research fellowships ("Fitzgerald Fellows") for the last 9 years and our close relationship with the University of Notre Dame. We will also fully integrate our research program with an experience in pulmonary clinical medicine to provide career insights and increase the meaningfulness and relevance of the research effort of our trainees. Our program director will be John E. Repine, MD - a pulmonary physician-scientist who directed our Medical Student Research Program for two decades and helped create our existing Princeton University- Webb-Waring summer research program. In addition, each trainee will have extensive contact with Robert A. Winn, MD, a pulmonary physician-scientist-role model and our Associate Dean of Medical School Admissions, and Arthur Gutierrez-Hartmann, MD, another role model and our MSTP Program Director. Short- and long-term outcomes will be assessed independently by Gretchen Guiton, PhD, the Head of our Evaluation Center. The significance of our program will be to increase the interest and preparation for health science professional and research careers of the truly exceptional diversity students from these two outstanding schools making these students more likely to (1) be accepted to preeminent research oriented medical and other professional schools, (2) participate in research as part of their future professional education and postgraduate training, and (3) seek careers in health related research in academic and industrial settings.
Our program will address the need for interesting and recruiting more students of diversity into careers in the health professions and research. Our program will recruit and train four undergraduate students of diversity from Princeton University and the University of Notre Dame in pulmonary research at the University of Colorado for 12 summer weeks each year. The significance will be to increase the likelihood that these high quality students will pursue additional training and careers in the health professions and medical research.