Wright State University School of Medicine will offer 12 outstanding minority college students from across the nation the opportunity to conduct laboratory research under the guidance of faculty mentors for 10 weeks next summer. The program offers free campus housing and a $2,400 stipend.
The Short-Term Research Experience Access for Minority Students (STREAMS) Program is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Wright State has just been notified that NIH will fund the program for another five years. The program is designed to encourage members of under-represented groups to pursue careers in biomedical research, according to co-directors Mariana Morris, Ph.D., chair and professor of pharmacology and toxicology, and Shumei Guo, Ph.D., professor of community health.
Nationally, there is a dearth of minorities in research careers. "Given the high prevalence of health problems in U.S. minority populations, the need for encouraging and educating minority students to participate in research is eminent," said Dr. Guo. "My vision," adds Dr. Morris is to give undergraduate students a taste of research and to be able to let them experience some of the excitement faculty feel toward research. It is exciting to be able to discover new things."
STREAMS participants will be organized into three general interdisciplinary areas: cellular mechanisms, endocrinology/hypertension and cardiovascular epidemiology. The students will spend about 80 percent of their time conducting biomedical research in Wright State laboratories and work closely with senior scientists. In addition, they will read papers from biomedical literature, make scientific presentations, and explore the social and ethical implications of scientific research.
"These students tend to be high achievers, and they complement each other with goal setting and career exploration," Dr. Morris said of previous STREAMS participants. Of the 46 participants in the first five years of STREAMS at Wright State, 19 are completing their bachelor degrees; 13 are in graduate research or training programs; 5 are in medical school (three at WSU); and six are employed in the pharmaceutical industry. Students came to Wright State from 28 different universities in 12 states.