This is a renewal application for the Harvard Summer Research Program in Kidney Medicine which introduces promising undergraduate students to the rich exciting world of kidney medicine research. The core feature of the program is an intensive research experience, either bench or clinical, under the guidance of experienced and committed investigators from the Harvard Medical School faculty at: Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children's Hospital or Massachusetts General Hospital. ?Site miners? at each institution help match students with research opportunities. The nephrology division chiefs will continue to ensure institutional commitment and support to this important initiative. Students also participate in a core curriculum that includes five central components: 1) an introduction to the principles of renal physiology, basic mechanisms of disease and how disease affects real patients; 2) training in evaluating adults for kidney disease and participation in a community screening effort, sponsored by our Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program (KDSAP); 3) a visit to an outpatient dialysis center to appreciate the impact of kidney disease; 4) preparation of a poster and presentation of their work to colleagues and faculty locally and to other NIDDK-funded sites nationally at the end of their research experience; and 5) a formal program, organized by NIDDK and one of the funded sites, to present information on career choices and opportunities in kidney medicine. A goal of the core curriculum is to promote student interest and confidence to pursue a career in the sciences, particularly, to consider kidney science. In the research setting, students receive training in fundamental aspects of experimental design and implementation. Social activities complement formal aspects of the Program to enhance students' understanding of the multifaceted research community and the joy of discovery as they share their experiences with their Program colleagues as well as with other MD and PhD trainees, faculty and staff who form the larger units within which the students work. The Program Director and Associate Directors have assembled committees to oversee the Program, judge its effectiveness, and advise and mentor students. Our site initiated an assessment component to determine the Program's immediate and subsequent impact on the students' careers and to improve the Program each year. With NIDDK's encouragement all of the program sites are now using this tool so the effectiveness of the overall program can be assessed. While still early in the life of our Program, student participation represents the beginning of a relationship that continues over time for career advising and fostering interest in nephrology. Some of this is borne out by the number of student participants who have gone on to start KDSAP chapters at their own schools or have joined existing chapters. We hope to be able to continue 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 in Kidney Medicine (HSRPKM) offers a robust and varied introduction to the world of nephrology for the undergraduate college student who is considering a career in science or medicine. The Program is primarily a research-based experience but includes a core curriculum that addresses the basic science and clinical fundamentals as well as opportunities in the field. The Program spans the nephrology divisions of four Harvard-affiliated hospitals ? Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Boston's Children's Hospital (BCH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Dr. Joseph Bonventre, Chief of the BWH Renal Division, serves as Program Director. Associate Program Directors are Drs. Melanie Hoenig (BIDMC) and Li-Li Hsiao (BWH). The Program runs for 9 weeks each summer and enrolls 14-16 students each summer.

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)
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Rankin, Tracy L
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Brigham and Women's Hospital
United States
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