The Harvard Summer Research Program in Kidney Medicine is designed to introduce talented undergraduate students to the rich and exciting world of kidney research. The core feature of the proposed program is an intensive research experience under the guidance of experienced and committed investigators from the Harvard Medical School faculty. The research activities may be bench science or clinical research. Projects will be based at one of four major Harvard affiliated research institutions: Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston's Children's Hospital. Participation of each site will be facilitated by site miners, key research faculty at that institution who will help match students with research opportunities. The Nephrology Division chiefs will ensure institutional commitment and support. Each site has committed to taking at least 4 students per summer. Students will also participate in a core curriculum that will include two central components: 1) an introduction to the principles of renal physiology and basic mechanisms of disease and how disease affects real patients; 2) training in evaluation of individuals for chronic kidney disease and an opportunity to participate in a community screening effort, sponsored by our Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program. An additional goal of the core curriculum is to promote student interest and confidence to pursue a career in the sciences. Students will receive training in fundamental aspects of experimental design and implementation. Social activities will complement formal aspects of the Program to enhance students' understanding of the community of research and the joy of discovery. Individual preceptors at each institution will help students to prepare for local presentations of their research. Students will also participate in the signature science symposium that is planned by the NIDDK in Bethesda, MD, to culminate this intensive experience. The program leadership will consist of a Director and two Associate Directors, each of whom has had significant experience in guiding the careers of many trainees at various stages of development, including college undergraduate students. Both internal and external oversight committees have been constructed to optimize the effectiveness of the Program, optimize matching of students to research mentor and advise and mentor students on career choices. In addition, an assessment component has been devised to determine the Program's immediate and subsequent impact on the participants' careers and to facilitate improvement of the Program each year. With this range of activities in place, we hope to instill in the students a lifetime focus on scholarly activities and an interest in the kidney.

Public Health Relevance

The Harvard Summer Research Program will introduce undergraduate students to kidney research through an intensive 8 week program. Students will participate in research at one of four Harvard-affiliated research institutions: Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston's Children's Hospital. Other activities include a core curriculum presented at weekly seminars, a mentoring and career development program, participation in a community kidney disease screening effort, presentation of student data both locally and at an NIH-sponsored symposium and social activities to foster camaraderie among the participants and convey the excitement of kidney research. A formal assessment program to define the outcomes and success of the program has been developed.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDK1-GRB-G (J3))
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Rankin, Tracy L
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Brigham and Women's Hospital
United States
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