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Summer Scholars Program

Summer Scholars Program

May 31-August 8, 2018
Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Winston-Salem NC
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Meet our 2018 Summer Scholars!


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>> View the 2018 Summer Scholars brochure  

>> Announcing New NSF REU Site Component - Engineering new REU Approaches to Challenges in TERM

About The Program

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 undergraduate students an opportunity to experience this exciting, multidisciplinary research, firsthand as they engage in research at the interface of engineering and biology in challenging areas of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine (TERM). The 2018 program will be held from Thursday, May through 31st through Wednesday, August 4th, 2018. During the 10-week program, students accepted into the program 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 $5,000 stipend of the 10-week program. A variety of housing options are also available within close proximity to WFIRM. 

The students’ multi-disciplinary mentored research experiences are supplemented with additional program elements and education on the research process, hands-on instrumentation, workshops on bioethics, responsible conduct of research, effective oral and written communication, professional development and career opportunities topics. Scholars also attend the annual Regenerative Medicine Essentials (RME) course to familiarize students with the fundamentals of the field as well as current applications and challenges.  Attendance at the RME enables students to further network with leaders in the field from across the globe and industry.  Scholars also attend special seminars on “hot” topics in the field as well as participate in a number of social activities with the WFIRM team. All students present their research findings several times over the summer and in oral and poster format at a final research day event. Opportunities to attend and present at local and national meetings are also emphasized. 

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 Objective 

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 and supporting students to successfully 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 professional development and networking opportunities as students participate in the annual Regenerative Medicine Essentials course led by WFIRM researchers and distinguished guest experts from around the world, attend special seminars on alternating topics in regenerative medicine and participate in skills development workshops topics related to technical communications skills (written and oral presentations) and strategies to prepare for and apply to graduate schools. Opportunities for social interaction with each other as well as with the faculty and staff of WFIRM is also emphasized.  These events are intended to help our students form relationships with fellow scientists and colleagues 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 is committed to providing research opportunities to all undergraduate 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. 

Summer Scholars Program Contact/Information: 

 Joan F. Schanck, MPA
Program Director 


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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