The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) proposes to renew the existing summer research experience in neurobiology and continue to support a focused neurobiology cohort within the existing JAX Summer Student Program, an internationally recognized research education program for undergraduates and high school students. Under the proposed renewal, six undergraduate students will conduct neurobiology research in the labs of 11 NIH- funded neuroscientists who lead cutting-edge, collaborative research programs in Alzheimer's disease, peripheral neuropathies, motor neuron degeneration, synaptic development, retinal disease and glaucoma, addiction, Rett syndrome, and sensory disorders. The 10-week residential internship will provide each participant a summer salary and funds to support student research supplies and travel to national meetings to present findings. The proposed program will offer an intense research internship in neurobiology with a focus on the laboratory mouse as an investigative tool to probe the basic mechanisms of human biology and disease. As a member of the mentor's laboratory team, each student will design and conduct an independent, hypothesis-driven project using advanced analysis methods and tools and the outstanding genetic resources available at JAX. The defined research education curriculum will include asynchronous online learning modules, bioinformatics bootcamps, workshops on the ethical conduct of research within historical and modern scientific contexts, and science communication. JAX institutional commitment includes student access to intellectual and research resources such as on-campus courses and conferences, state-of-the-art instrumentation and bioinformatics databases, dedicated program direction by JAX Genomic Education, and a staffed on-campus residential program. The neurobiology cohort will join the Summer Student Program, which is supported by institutional funds, private foundations, and federal grants, and has well-established administrative procedures for recruitment and selection, mentor training and support, and program design, management, and evaluation. The program will identify participants through a national recruitment and competitive application process. JAX will recruit students underrepresented in biomedicine through targeted outreach and partnerships. JAX offers a stimulating environment in which motivated, talented students from diverse backgrounds can learn the fundamentals of scientific inquiry, contribute to real research progress, and make great strides in intellectual and personal growth that will guide them toward a career in research.
A trained and diverse biomedical workforce requires support of educational programs at all levels, including those designed to provide students exposure to biomedical research, reinforce their intent to graduate with a science degree, and to prepare them for graduate studies leading to a career in research. The proposed summer research program will provide opportunities for students to improve their research skills and gain confidence in the research environment.
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