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Excellence in Cardiovascular Sciences Summer Research

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This program will continue to provide short-term training for minority undergraduate, graduate and health professional students. The focus is on research training in the cardiovascular sciences. The program takes advantage of the broad, multidisciplinary cardiovascular research ongoing at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. The program includes mentors from the Hypertension & Vascular Disease Center, Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, Molecular Genetics, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Neuroscience, Medicine, Radiology, Medical Engineering and Surgery. These educators are established scientists with research programs supported by extramural funds. The program provides training in the cardiovascular sciences with emphasis on basic mechanisms of vascular pathology, and the disease processes of hypertension and heart disease. The trainees are minority students, either undergraduate, graduate or health professional students, who pursue a research program in the laboratory of one or more mentors. Recruitment is by visiting area minority institutions, national mailings, a web site, and contact with prior students. The overall objectives are to: 1) introduce students to biomedical research via hands-on participation in a research project; 2) introduce students to critical scientific evaluation and presentation of a journal article; 3) provide experience in scientific writing and speaking via presentation of their research project as a poster; 4) provide exposure of the students to research faculty, both basic science and clinical; 5) foster a long-term commitment to pursue a career in the medical and behavioral sciences through an experience that exemplifies the excitement and challenges of clinically relevant investigation. Evaluation of the program by students is performed annually with improvements made each year on this basis. In addition, a questionnaire is sent biennially for follow-up of previous participants. We can account for 77% of the students from years 1- 9 of the program. Of those students who are not still in undergraduate school, 80% are in graduate, medical or industrial technical positions. Moreover, all students regarded the experience as a positive influence on their career and 76% of those who responded said they plan to pursue some aspect of biomedical research as a career.
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