The goal of this summer program is to introduce highly qualified undergraduates from diverse and underrepresented minority backgrounds to the concept of scientific research, the principles of scientific experimentation, the proper methods of data analysis, the interpretation, presentation, and translational applications of research results, and to clinicians who practice at academic medical centers. Each student will work in the laboratory of a faculty mentor who has a proven track record in the mentoring of students and who has an actively funded biomedical research program focusing on cardiovascular, pulmonary or sleep medicine to accomplish this goal. In addition, all students will learn about careers in academic medical centers (AMCs) by shadowing clinician-investigators during a typical day of clinical activities, leadership responsibilities, teaching, and research. At the end of the first summer in the program, the students will write an abstract and participate in both a local and national poster presentation of their research results. After the second summer in the program, students will give a Powerpoint presentation to other students in the training program, and will again present their research locally and nationally. The students will also receive instruction and advice from program directors and near-peer mentors in essay writing, test preparation, and critical career development skills. The ultimate goal of the program is to provide undergraduate students with an understanding and appreciation of the biomedical research process so as to encourage them to pursue careers studying patients and their diseases after further postgraduate training in graduate and medical education. This program was initially funded by the NIH/NHLBI in 2014 and we have had 26 unique students participate in the past 4 summers. Those students were 62% AA, 35% Hispanic or Latino, 58% female, and 31% Disadvantaged. Of the students who were eligible to return for a second PARAdiGM summer, 14/18 returned (78%). Of the PARAdiGM trainees who have completed their undergraduate training, almost all have gone on to be accepted /enrolled in excellent physician-scientist, medical, and/or postbacc/biomedical science masters programs (13/17; 76%), and all have viewed the research experience in our summer program as one of the most valuable components of their training.

Public Health Relevance

Preparation for Graduate and Medical Education (PARAdiGM) Program This summer program gives rising junior and senior undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to optimally prepare for a career in academic medicine. We will recruit students who would like to explore combining a career in clinical medicine with basic science or translational research relevant to human cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHL1)
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Wang, Wayne C
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University of Alabama Birmingham
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Hyndman, Kelly Anne; Dugas, Courtney; Arguello, Alexandra M et al. (2016) High salt induces autocrine actions of ET-1 on inner medullary collecting duct NO production via upregulated ETB receptor expression. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 311:R263-71