A research symposium highlighted the work of high school and undergraduate students in cancer-research focused summer programs at the University of Illinois Cancer Center. Nearly 30 Cancer Center members mentored students in summer programs,
The two high school programs – Cancer Health Equity Summer Scholars (CHESS) and researcHStart – with a total of 17 students ends August 4, while the undergraduate program – University of Illinois Diversity in Cancer Research Internship (UI DICR) – with eight students ends August 11.
Research posters adorned a collection of billboards during the symposium held August 2 at the UIC College of Nursing
Another summer program, the Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials: Clinical Investigator Pathway Program (Winn CIPP) with four medical students, wrapped up in July with a culminating event of research presentations.
Summer Research Programs
Summer programs are a critical part of the mission of the Cancer Center’s Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination (CRTEC) team to build pipeline programs to train diverse cancer researchers from young students to early-stage investigators. The goal is to educate, support and retain trainees from underrepresented minority groups to address the needs of the Cancer Center’s diverse patient population.
- UI DICR, through funding from the American Cancer Society, supports underrepresented minority undergraduate students to participate in a 10-week summer cancer research internship.
- CHESS 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.
- 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, the University of Chicago, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University and Rush University.
- The Cancer Center is among the sites for Winn CIPP, a 6-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. Winn is a former director of the Cancer Center who now leads the VCU Massey Cancer Center in Richmond, Virginia.