Students in all five of the University of Illinois Cancer Center summer research programs hung out, enjoyed lunch, listened to panel discussions with medical students, played jumbo lawn games, competed in tug of war and toured the Cancer Center’s giant inflatable colon #CECIL during the annual Community Day celebration.

The summer research programs are central to the Cancer Center mission through its Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination (CRTEC) team. The goal of these programs is to build a pipeline of researchers and trainees who will continue to address the needs of diverse patient populations. More than 30 Cancer Center members are helping to guide students through their programs.

While most of the summer programs are past the halfway mark, the Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials: Clinical Investigator Pathway Program (Winn CIPP) for medical students ends July 12.

Winn CIPP is a six-week summer service-learning externship in community-based clinical research where medical students benefit from exposures to clinical research, community engagement experiences and leadership development.

ResearcHStart Program

The ResearcHStart program introduces high school students to cancer research by introducing them to biophysics, biochemistry, immunology and pharmacology. The program is a multi-institution program with the Cancer Center, University of Chicago, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University and Rush University. The program ends August 2.

Cancer Health Equity Summer Scholars (CHESS)

The Cancer Health Equity Summer Scholars (CHESS) program is an eight-week summer program that trains and mentors underrepresented minority high school students interested in careers focusing on cancer research and other health professions. The CHESS Program is a collaboration between the Cancer Center and the Urban Health Program. Watch this video to learn more. The program ends August 2.

University of Illinois Diversity in Cancer Research (UI DICR)

Through funding from the American Cancer Society, UI DICR at the Cancer Center is a 10-week summer program that trains and mentors underrepresented minority undergraduate students interested in careers focusing on cancer research and other health professions. Watch this video to learn more. The program ends August 9.

ChicagoCHEC Fellows

The ChicagoCHEC Fellows program prepares undergraduate and postbaccalaureate students for careers in social, behavioral and biomedical research and in health care. During the eight-week program, fellows meet with leading scholars in basic, clinical, translational, prevention, control, behavioral and population research over a course of research lectures at the Cancer Center, the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University and Northeastern Illinois University. The program ends August 2.

2024 Student Mentors

Nearly 30 Cancer Center Members are helping to guide students through their respective programs. The mentors include: Abhilasha Shrestha, MPH, PhD; Susan Magasai, PhD; Larisa Nonn, PhD; Shilpa Sant, PhD; Marian Fitzgibbon, PhD; Md Wasim Khan, PhD; Jonathan Coloff, PhD; Yulia Komarova, PhD; Keith Naylor, MD; Steve Lee, PhD; Jan Kitajewski, PhD; Abeer Mahmoud, MD, PhD; Preetish Kadur Lakshminarasimha Murthy, PhD; Samuel Dorevitch, MD; Dolly Mehta, PhD; Jan-Hendrik Spille, PhD; Vadim Gaponenko, PhD; Nelson Chen, PhD; Deepak Shukla, PhD; Pamela Ganschow, MD; Andrei Karginov, PhD; Ameen Salahudeen, MD, PhD; Robert Motl, PhD; Duncan Wardrop, PhD; Bin He, PhD; and Ahmad Daher, MS, MD, PhD.

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