Summer Scholars Program
Another successful Summer Scholars program has come to an end!
Research Day on August 8, 2014 marked the conclusion of this year's 10-week program. Our scholars gave presentations and created posters for the research projects they worked on this summer at our institute.
The ability to engineer functional tissues and organs in the laboratory requires the coordinated expertise of many disciplines including cell and molecular biology, chemistry, engineering, and physiology. Through its Summer Scholars Program, the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) offers medical and undergraduate students an opportunity to experience this exciting, multidisciplinary research, firsthand. During the 10-week program, students will conduct an individually tailored research project under the supervision of WFIRM faculty and staff. Projects are focused in several areas including biomaterials, cell and molecular biology, physiology, biomedical engineering, controlled release systems, biochemistry, cell and gene therapy, and tissue engineering. Summer scholars receive a competitive stipend for the 10-week program.
The Educational & Research Need
Much of today's K-16 curriculum is taught to students through textual materials. Although many of these materials are standards-based, the textual approach often leaves out the more exploratory, "how and why" of science. As a result, there is considerable room and need outside the traditional classroom-based environment to interest students in the wonders and "real world" applications of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Concomitantly, a significant challenge is the training of engineers and scientists in the field of regenerative medicine, which requires a multidisciplinary approach. We believe that by providing undergraduate students opportunities to engage in highly interdisciplinary, challenging areas regenerative medicine through a cross disciplinary, undergraduate research program under the supervision of world renowned regenerative medicine experts along with connections to continued, advanced education and career pathways, we can inspire and better prepare our next generation of talent needed to solve our most difficult problems and continue to advance the field to result in successful translation for patients.
The Program's Objectives
The program’s objectives include:
- Promoting independence through active participation with a research team/mentor,
- Exposing students to multidisciplinary research projects that address real-world clinical needs
- Developing ability to interact with other disciplines by providing training in a strong team-based environment
- Motivating students to pursue graduate studies and careers in the biomedical sciences
- Encouraging the next generation of scientists and clinicians to pursue careers in regenerative medicine.
The program also offers students many opportunities for social interaction with each other as well as with the faculty and staff of WFIRM. These events are intended to help our students form relationships with fellow scientists that will persist beyond their tenure at the institute. These events also represent an opportunity to experience some of the recreational assets that the Winston-Salem area has to offer.
WFIRM Summer Scholars take to the field at the Dash Game on Friday, August 1st
WFIRM is committed to providing research opportunities to all undergraduate and medical students, with special interest in applications from students who are typically under-represented within fields of science, technology, and engineering. These include African-Americans, Latino/Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders and disabled individuals. WFIRM is an equal opportunity employer.
Program Contact Information:
Administrative Director: Joan F. Schanck, MPA
Scientific Director: Thomas Shupe, PhD