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Summer Undergraduate Experience in Stem Cell Research - 2009

RFA #: 0809080949

Institution PI Amount Title
Columbia University Alice Heicklen $243,000 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience in Stem Cell Science
Cornell University Laurel Southard $234,576 Cornell Undergraduate Stem Cell Science Program
SUNY - Stony Brook University David Bynum $229,471 Summer Undergraduate Experience in Stem Cell Research

Summer Undergraduate Research Experience in Stem Cell Science

Alice Heicklen, Ph.D.
Columbia University

Columbia University will offer Stem Cell Fellowships to a select group of motivated undergraduate students who will benefit from the opportunity for hands-on stem cell laboratory research. This fellowship aims to teach the next generation of scientists the tricks of the trade to performing stem cell research. This involves hands on experience in premier stem cell labs, weekly meetings within the laboratories, the development of the tools to explain the research carried out to individuals outside of the specific laboratory, developing stem cell curricula with secondary school teachers and exposure to other research carried out in the stem cell field. Students will work full-time on independent study projects under the guidance of a research scientist. In addition to the research performed in the laboratories, the program begins with an orientation to laboratory safety, graduate student career panel, ethics discussions and lectures by Columbia University and non-Columbia University faculty on the research they are performing in their labs. The second component is a module where students meet weekly with other undergraduates in the program under the guidance of a graduate student to learn how to describe their research to individuals not in their specific laboratory. This is a skill that is frequently neglected but needs to be taught if we are going to improve the general public understanding of science. Each student will present orally to their peers, present orally to scientists in stem cell laboratories and write an original research article based on their research.

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Cornell Undergraduate Stem Cell Science Program

Laurel Southard, A.B.D.
Cornell University

This proposal is a partnership between the Cornell University Undergraduate Biology major and stem cell scientists at Cornell. The Cornell Undergraduate Stem Cell Science Program (CUSSP) will have several goals. First, we will provide eight students with an intensive 10-week summer research opportunity in the lab of one of our accomplished Cornell mentors. These students will learn techniques and skills that are routinely used in modern research, and after initial training, will be involved in investigatory research. In addition, the summer program will introduce them to the literature of stem-cell research through a directed journal club. Students will meet weekly to read, present and discuss scientific papers in a structured, mentored environment. In addition, we will provide seminars and panels that will introduce the students to career and graduate school opportunities, ethical dilemmas in stem cell science and to potential role models in the Cornell stem cell community. Several of our mentors are clinician scientists who will bring a medical emphasis to the program. The students will also gain valuable experience in writing and speaking about their research through a series of presentation opportunities, including presenting their work at a national professional or undergraduate meeting. Our overall goal is to provide an enticing look at research in hopes that the majority of these students will choose careers in science. This project will be focused on stem cells, but will provide the students a wide perspective on current research in the field.

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Summer Undergraduate Experience in Stem Cell Research

David Bynum, Ph.D.
SUNY - Stony Brook University

Advances in stem cell research are rapidly progressing, providing potential for future treatments for many diseases and injuries. In this proposal we will make available undergraduate research experiences in Stony Brook research laboratories to eight outstanding students from around the nation. This will be done by: 1) obtaining commitment from our research community to bring undergraduate students into their laboratories; 2) recruiting students nationally through our website, contacts and posters; 3) providing these students with financial support, housing, career counseling, mentoring, tours and guest lectures that supplement their research experience; 4) offering students travel support to attend local and national meetings to learn from other researchers and present their work; 5) tracking these students through their subsequent education and research careers to assess program impact. This proposal will be led by the director of CESAME (Center for Science and Mathematics Education) and the Vice Dean for Scientific Affairs in the School of Medicine at Stony Brook. The CESAME director has fifteen years experience in directing similar programs and has received local, state and national recognition for his work, including a visit to the White House where he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. The Vice Dean for Scientific Affairs targets emerging opportunities in external funding sources to areas of research interest and expertise. He is a recent recipient of a NYSTEM grant, Therapy of Hemophilia A using Megakaryocyte-targeted Stem Cell Delivery.

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