Summer research programs inspire students to biomedical careers

August 20, 2014

Anna Brown was about to abandon her dream of becoming a scientist when the Summer Researcher Internship Program at UNT Health Science Center changed her mind.

"I wasn’t certain if research was right for me," said the University of Texas junior. "But this program erased all doubt and showed me the steps I need to take to become a scientist."

Guiding students toward careers in biomedical science is exactly what the 10-week Summer Research Internship Program is all about. Sponsored by the Center for Diversity and International Programs, the internship introduces under-represented minorities to opportunities in science, said Center Director Harlan Jones, PhD.

"We want them to fill their tool belt with the characteristics needed to make themselves competitive," he said. "We hope that most, if not all of them, will one day be performing cutting-edge research."

Ultimately, the goal is to fill the gap caused by fewer minorities in science careers. In 2009, African Americans received less than 2 percent of doctorates in science.

"We realized that the nation is falling behind, and we are trying to meet the demand for technical jobs, in particular biomedical and health professional areas," Dr. Jones said. "We want to give them an opportunity to be successful."

Three internships are offered: Summer Multicultural Advanced Research Training (SMART), the Historically Black College or University Undergraduate Collaborative Summer Training Program in Prostate Cancer, or the Summer Training Among Research Scientists (STARS).  Students work with a faculty mentor, receive a stipend and earn two semester credit hours.

Eric Gonzales, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Neuroscience, said a summer research program in 2000 drove home the importance of mentorship and inspired him to pursue a doctorate.

"It was an eye-opening experience and was where I found my calling to go on to earn a PhD," he said.

Hsc Tcom Gold Humanism Society Inductees Fc
TCOM Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society welcomes new inductees 

By Steven Bartolotta The humanistic side of medicine is alive and well at Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. The TCOM Chapter of the Arnold P Gold Foundation inducted 45 students and four faculty members into the Gold Humanism Honor Society on the campus of The University of North Texas H...Read more

Jun 15, 2021

John Licciardone Hsc Fort Worth Fc
eHealth interventions could help African-American patients in battle with chronic pain

By Steven Bartolotta The PRECISION Pain Research Registry at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth has identified important racial disparities in pain management that became more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its study recently published in the special COVID...Read more

Jun 14, 2021

Diana Cervantes. Assistant Professor Biostatistics & Epidemiology
Dr. Diana Cervantes named among Fort Worth’s ‘most influential’ for public health service during the pandemic

By Sally Crocker Dr. Diana Cervantes has spent the last year keeping people informed and updated on all things coronavirus, and now she’s being recognized as one of Fort Worth Inc.’s “400 Most Influential People” for helping protect the community’s health during the pandemic. Dr....Read more

Jun 8, 2021

Opal Lee photo by Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Commemorating Juneteenth

By Diane Smith-Pinckney On June 19 1865, Major General Gordan Granger marched into Galveston with a critical message: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”  This was the opening se...Read more

Jun 8, 2021