All five University of Illinois Cancer Center summer research programs for students are up and running.

This week, high school students reported to the ResearcHStart and Cancer Health Equity Summer Scholars (CHESS) programs, while the ChicagoCHEC Fellows program kicked off with undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students. Last week, the Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials: Clinical Investigator Pathway Program (Winn CIPP) for medical students and the University of Illinois Diversity in Cancer Research (UI DICR) program for undergraduate students began at the Cancer Center.

Summer research programs are central to the mission of Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination (CRTEC) at the Cancer Center. 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.

ResearcHStart Program

2024 ResearcHStart students

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.

Cancer Health Equity Summer Scholars (CHESS)

2024 CHESS students
2024 CHESS students

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 University of Illinois Cancer Center and the Urban Health Program.

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 University of Illinois Cancer Center, the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University and Northeastern Illinois University. 

University of Illinois Diversity in Cancer Research (UI DICR)

2024 UI DICR Students
2024 UI DICR Students

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. The program runs trhough August 9. Watch this video to learn more about UI DICR from some of the students who participated in 2023.

Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials: Clinical Investigator Pathway Program (Winn CIPP)

2024 Winn CIPP students
2024 Winn CIPP students

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. The program runs through July 12. Winn is a former director of the Cancer Center who now leads the VCU Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center in Richmond, Virginia.

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