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Summer Scholars Program

About Our Scholars


The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) has provided summer undergraduate research opportunities since its inception in 2004.  Between 2004-2017, WFIRM hosted 445 undergraduate students during both the summer and academic year.  

Snapshot of 2007-2017 

In 2007, the WFIRM Summer Scholar program became nationally advertised and has been run continuously ever since. Over the past 11 years, a total of 189 undergraduates, 98 male and 91 females, participated in the formal, competitively reviewed WFIRM Summer Scholars program.  The interns were studying in institutions across the country.  Interns’ majors included biology, bio-technology, biomedical engineering, bioinformatics, pre-med, chemistry, biochemistry, psychology, computer science and mathematics.  

Chart 1

Chart 1: Percentages of WFIRM Summer Scholars from NC versus non-NC/national recruits 

Of these, 149 (79%) reported completion of their undergraduate degree, with 128 (68%) of those who have completed either currently enrolled or graduated from Masters, PhD and MD programs in engineering, medicine, or related fields. Of those 40 (21%) who continue to complete their undergraduate programs, nearly all (34/85%) cite intentions to pursue post-graduate degrees as well as the WFIRM Summer Scholars experience as motivating factor providing clarification of interests and integral support to successfully pursue successful matriculation  into post-graduate degree programs.  Chart 2 below depicts the distribution of former alumni attending post-graduate education in NC, at WFU/WFSOM and other institutions in the US and abroad. 

Chart 2

Chart 2: Post-Undergraduate Outcomes: Breakdown of former alumni pursuing post-graduate education.

  • 120 (64%) recruited nationally
  • 69 (36%) from institutes in NC
  • 128 (68%) currently attending or completed graduate PhD and/or MD programs in engineering, medicine or related fields
  • 65 (51%) attending MD or PhD programs at Med School
  • 63 (49%) attending Graduate, PhD STEM programs
  • 35% publication rate
  • >60% ongoing collaborative relationships

Summer Scholars Speak

Quotes 2017

Summer Scholars Spotlight

Maggie vanSchyaak headshotMargaret vanSchaayk, a 2017 Summer Scholar participant, was chosen as an applicant for the 22nd Annual Posters on the Hill competition in Washington, D.C. This popular event gives students the opportunity to showcase their research for congressional members, meet their representatives, and learn about advocacy for undergraduate research. vanSchyaak's poster was titled "Effects of Bioactive Molecules on Skeletal Muscle Development in 3D Bioprinted Muscle Constructs."

2017 Summer Scholars Sue Zhang and Emily Long presented at the Biomedical Engineering Society 2017 Annual meeting held in Phoenix, Arizona October 11-14th, 2017. 

Sue Zhang @ BME 2017

Sue Zhang (above), a University of Rochester BME student, presented her poster, “Optimization and Characterization of 3D Human prepubertal Testis Organoid”.

Emily Long @ BME 2017

Emily Long(above) for her podium presentation, “Microfluidic Encapsulation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes”.



Quick Reference

Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Phone 336-713-7293
Fax 336-713-7290

Richard H. Dean Biomedical Building
391 Technology Way
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
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