Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Undergraduate Research Addressing Challenges In Diabetes, Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases
PROJECT SUMMARY We propose a summer institute program of multidisciplinary undergraduate research at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM), a research institute within the Wake Forest School of Medicine (WFSM). This program will provide 8 undergraduate and recent post-baccalaureate students each summer (2019-2024) with 10-week summer research opportunities utilizing tissue engineering and regenerative medicine (TERM) strategies to address challenges relevant to the prevention, treatment and, ultimately, cure of diabetes, kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases. With interest in addressing the perseverance of the ?leaky pipeline? negatively impacting the diversity of the biomedical workforce, we focus on participation of under- represented minority groups, women, and non-traditional students ? including students attending 2- and 4- year universities with limited research resources and first-generation students. Through companion foci of disparities in DDKD research areas and health care, along with specialized educational and career interventions to support our student participants, we expect to: 1) enhance participation of students of diversity; 2) provide a highly positive mentored research experience with faculty and near-peer graduate students; 3) enhance participants? knowledge, career intentions and persistence in TERM in DDKD research areas, specifically, and toward careers in biomedical research broadly and 4) develop and implement a specialized education and career intentions and perceptions evaluation model approach. A final, highly significant primary aim is to increase matriculation into graduate, PhD, and MD/PhD programs and careers with focus in TERM and DDKD research. These goals will be accomplished via a highly coordinated, mentored interdisciplinary summer research institute program with a combination of research activities, instrumentation training, didactic educational experiences, specialized training with workshops on bioethics, responsible conduct of research, health disparities, oral and written communication, and program-tailored education and career development perceptions and intentions interventions. All students provide an oral overview of their summer research, present scientific posters at the Summer Student Research Symposium and will be provided institutional support for submitting abstracts for presentations at regional and national conferences. The program incorporates WFIRM faculty and near-peer graduate students and leverages partnerships with the VT-WF School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, the WFSM Center on Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, and the Bladder Research Center at WFIRM. The faculty and research reflect our major strengths in TERM and DDKD research. Achieving our goals will be facilitated by our multiple extant regional and national partnerships with a scientific, educational and minority serving institutions to enhance recruitment, professional development and, importantly, retain a focus on DDKD research priorities. Overall, we expect these activities and approaches will reinforce positive alignment between self-perceptions, perceptions of scientists, and career intentions in TERM fields.