Since 2001, the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine has sponsored an NIH-funded summer program for under-represented minority students. This program is designed to provide a research-based experience to minority undergraduate and graduate students, with the goal of enhancing both their interest in and opportunities for successful careers in biomedical science.
Students work on specific research projects under the supervision of an assigned mentor. Faculty participating in this program pursue a broad range of research, from basic cell and molecular biology to asthma or sleep-disordered breathing. In addition to the research experience, students participate in a weekly journal club, during which they present primary research articles to their peers and members of the faculty. A weekly seminar series is held, where invited speakers relate their experiences and the decisions they faced on the road to careers in biomedical science.
This forum provides students with the opportunity to interact with faculty members in an informal setting, and gives them the chance to hear different perspectives on issues related to career development. Those students interested in clinical medicine are also given the opportunity to “round” with the Johns Hopkins Medicine residents. This allows students to step out of their research experience for a time, and get a glimpse of life in clinical medicine, and life as a resident at an academic institution.
At the end of the summer, students present their work in a poster session, held jointly with students from the other summer programs at Johns Hopkins, and attended by faculty and students from throughout the Johns Hopkins community. It is hoped that through these activities, students will gain first-hand knowledge of research and academic medicine, and that these experiences and the contacts that arise from them will foster their pursuit of careers in the biomedical sciences.