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46 Wake Forest Medical Students Engaged in Summer Research Projects

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – A record 46 students at Wake Forest University School of Medicine have been awarded summer fellowships to conduct research projects in either basic science or clinical research laboratories.

“The 46 applications we had for the summer medical student research program are the most we have ever had,” said Richard W. St. Clair, Ph.D., chairman of the 22-member Intramural Research Support Committee and director of the medical student research training program. All the applicants finished their first year of medical school this past May.

“The overall quality of the applications was the best we have seen,” he said. “As a result, the Intramural Research Support Committee recommended we fund as many as possible.”

All 46 were funded: 17 by a National Institutes of Health grant for short-term research training, nine by the Laura Scales Memorial Fund, five by the Kulynych Interdisciplinary Cancer Research Fund, six from the Wake Forest University Health Sciences Venture Fund, three by the Dubie H. Holleman Trust for Cancer and Heart Research, and six from other sources.

The 46 students represent 42 percent of the 109 members of the class of 2008.

“The overall goal of this program is to encourage more medical students to choose careers in medical research,” said St. Clair, professor of pathology and head of the Section on Comparative Medicine.

Each student works under the direction of one or two faculty sponsors for up to 12 weeks, and then presents a poster summarizing the research for the annual Medical Student Research Day in the fall. Some projects are instigated at the student’s own initiative while other students participate in long-running faculty-driven projects.

In addition, the students attend a series of seminars on such topics as ethics in research, the use of animals in research, and human research considerations.

The students are being paid monthly stipends of $1,731.

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Media Contacts: Robert Conn, rconn@wfubmc.edu, Shannon Koontz, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu, or Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu, at 336-716-4587.

About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest Baptist is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,187 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

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