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Education & Training

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High School and Undergraduate Programs 

“Pipeline Programs” engage young people in scientific research to kindle their interest in biomedical research and set them on a path toward a research career. CTSI supports pipeline programs that provide local high school students and UCLA undergraduates with hands-on, mentored experiences assisting with clinical research, preparing scientific presentations and journal articles, and conducting science experiments. Our high school pipeline program has an important emphasis on students from minority groups that are underrepresented in biomedical research and the health professions.

On this page, you can find information about CTSI-supported pipeline programs, and information about hiring work-study undergraduate students for on-campus and off-campus jobs, including those related to research.

About

The High School Clinical Scholars Program introduces underserved minority students to clinical research to encourage them to enter careers in biomedical science research. The program started in 2001 and has been highly successful. All former students who participated in a survey reported they had gone on to college—75% of them to UCLA—and half said they had engaged in research as undergraduate or graduate students.

Long Beach Polytechnic High School currently participates in this program. With donor support, CTSI will expand to other local high schools that educate underserved minority students.

Long Beach Polytechnic High School Program

Students with an interest in biomedical research enroll in a semester-long, for-credit honors program in which they receive d instruction in experimental design, patient safety and ethics; and mentored research at one of the CTSI medical-research sites—either UCLA, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center or Los Angeles Biomedical Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. High school seniors taking honors courses or advanced placement courses are eligible to enroll.  The program accepts 10-17 students each year.  The course is 21 weeks long, six hours per week consisting of activities at LB Poly and activities at one of the three medical centers.  Activities at LB Poly include journal club, seminars, and biomedical ethics discussions.The course concludes with student presentations of each project at a poster presentation which is held at Cedars-Sinai.

Read about a recent High School Clinical Scholars poster session.

The course curriculum is outlined below.

Week Hospital (3 hours/week) High School (1 hour/week)
1 Hospital and Library Tour
Access to Medline and PubMed
Course Introduction
Meet the Program Directors
2 Meet your Mentor
Choose a Journal article
Seminar by a GCRC Investigator
3 Experimental Design I How to Read a Scientific Paper
4 Experimental Design II
Spread Sheet Creation
Journal Club
5 Statistical Analytics I
Patient Safety
Journal Club
6 Statistical Analysis II
Data Safety Monitoring
Seminar by a GCRC Investigator
7 Attend an IRB Meeting Midterm Exam
8 Attend an Ethics Seminar
Ethics Rondtable Discussion
Journal Club
9 Protocol work with Mentor Journal Club
10 Protocol work with Mentor Preparing-a-Poster Seminar
11 Protocol Work with Mentor Protocol Presentation: Team 1
12 Protocol Work with Mentor Protocol Presentation: Team 2
13 Protocol Work with Mentor Protocol Presentation: Team 3
14 Poster Assembly with Scientists Poster Session at High School

Outcomes

A high percentage of students were accepted to the college of their choice and continued to participate in biomedical research as undergraduate and graduate students. Outcomes depicted below are based on survey responses from 42 of 67 total High School Clinical Scholars from 2001-05. (Response rate is 63%.)

Contacts

For more information please contact:
Program Instructor:  Michelle Aberle, DDS, LB Poly at maberle@lbschools.net
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center:  Arlene Verne at vernea@cshs.org
LABioMed/Harbor UCLA:  Lynne Smith, MD at smith@labiomed.org  or William Stringer, MD at wstringer@labiomed.org
UCLA Westwood:  Lisa Chan at lchan@mednet.ucla.edu

About

About Us:

The UCLA CTSI Research Associates Program (CTSI-RAP) aims to provide undergraduate UCLA students with the opportunity to gain exposure to hospital based medicine as well as clinical research in an academic medical center. The program is designed to build a stronger support infrastructure for the research initiatives of UCLA faculty physicians and investigators. Research associates will play a key role in the implementation and integrity of research protocols in which they are involved. They will also be given the opportunity to make rounds with the medical team, observe common procedures, and experience didactic teaching sessions during the course of their research day. Student research associates are trained to conduct clinical research studies, collect and maintain securitized data, assist in the authorship of research protocols, aid in statistical analyses, and co-author abstracts, posters, and papers. In addition to the research, the CTSI-RAP students are exposed to experiences meant to educate and prepare them for a career in healthcare. As a result, research associates become comfortable with the workings of a hospital and gain skills in professionalism, patient communication, and research methodology. The unique blend of first-hand clinical experience and scientific research will give CTSI-RAP alumni a unique advantage in public healthcare in the future.

Program Benefits:

  • Clinical Research Experience
  • Hospital Volunteer Hours
  • Rounding with Attendings
  • Observing Procedures

Please like our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CTSIRAP

Student Profiles

2015 Cohort

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Quang Cao

Class: 2017
Major: Biology

Dey_Ipsita

Ipsita Dey

Class: 2017
Major: Human Biology and Society

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Crystal Dickson

Class: 2017
Major: Human Biology and Society, Neuroscience

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David Ho

Class: 2017
Major: Biology

Jiang_Kelsey

Kelsey Jiang

Class: 2017
Major: Biology

Jones_Adrian

Adrian Jones

Class: 2017
Major: Psychobiology

Kiran-Patel_Shreya

Shreya Kiran-Patel

Class: 2017
Major: Physiological Sciences

Lam_Harrison

Harrison Lam

Class: 2018
Major: Psychobiology

Ng_Cassia

Cassia Ng

Class: 2017
Major: Psychobiology

So_Joshua

Joshua So

Class: 2017
Major: Neuroscience

Yao_Douglas

Douglas Yao

Class: 2018
Major: MCDB

Alumni 

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Nathan Cheung

Class: 2017
Major: Life Sciences (undeclared)

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Aria Fariborzi

Class: 2015
Major: MIMG

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Kashif Iqbal

Class: 2015
Major: Biology

Kanji,_Sne.JPG

Sne Kanji

Class: 2015
Major: MCDB

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Victoria Lee
Class: 2016
Major: MCDB

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Michelle Liang

Class: 2016
Major: EEB

Mohindra,_Rohit.JPG

Rohit Mohindra

Class: 2016
Major: Physiological Science

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Maria Nguyen

Class: 2017
Major: Psychobiology

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Stephanie Ong
Class: 2016
Major: Biology

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Katherine Sheu

Class: 2016   
Major: MCDB

Tran,_Joyce.JPG

Joyce Tran

Class: 2016
Major: Biochemistry

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Zoey Wang

Class: 2016
Major: Neuroscience and Economics

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Daniel Zaki

Class: 2015
Major: Physiological Science

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Lily Zhang

Class: 2016
Major: Neuroscience











2013 Charter Class

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  Paul Abraham

  Class: 2014
  Major: Physiological Science

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Gregory Bogie

Class: 2015
Major: Physiological Science

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Tanya Budarina

Class: 2015
Major: Physiological Science

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Kereat (Kiki) Grewal

Class: 2015
Major: Physiological Science

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Daniel Kadden

Class: 2015
Major: Physiological Science

Khan_Rabia.jpg

Rabia Khan

Class: 2015
Major: Physiological Science

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Gyunho (Justin) Kim

Class: 2015
Major: Physiological Science

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Marilyn Kimbrough

Class: 2015
Major: Physiological Science

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Karrie Ly

Class: 2015
Major: Physiological Science

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Nikita Mathew

Class: 2015
Major: Physiological Science
Minor: Global Studies


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June Pan

Class: 2015    
Major: Physiological Science

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Joyce Ye Hee Park

Class: 2015
Major: Asian American Studies

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Pegah Savehshemshaki

Class: 2015
Major: Biology
Minor: English

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Ekaterina Tiourin

Class: 2015
Major: Physiological Science
Minor: Public Health

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Qi (Vera) Yang

Class: 2016
Major: Biochemistry


Projects

Our Projects:


  • RUSH Project
    • Description:
    • The primary goal of this study is to assess whether systematic inclusion of a bedside ultrasound protocol early in the assessment of patients in shock (RUSH-Rapid Ultrasound in Shock) impacts clinically relevant outcomes. Shock is a condition of inadequate oxygen delivery to vital organs that creates end organ dysfunction and eventually death if not adequately managed. The RUSH evaluation includes a focused and rapid assessment of cardiac function, intravascular volume status, large vessel pathology (aortic dissection, deep vein clots), and significant lung pathologies (effusion and pneumothorax), all of which could contribute to shock states. This study will address the question of whether determining the etiology of shock earlier in the hospital course makes a significant impact on outcomes for the patient and the hospital system.


  • Copper Touch
    • Description:
    • Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are among the most serious adverse events in healthcare. As the number of new effective antimicrobial agents declines and treatment of HAIs becomes increasingly difficult, hospital environments have become reservoirs and vehicles for the spread of nosocomial infections. Instead of trying to control the human behavior around the immune-compromised patients in the Intensive Care Units (ICU), the Copper Touch project aims to make changes in the environment around the patients. The Copper Touch project aims to assess the health benefits and costs of coating high touch surfaces within selected ICU rooms with copper-infused materials. Over a period of three years, the project will compare the incidence of HAIs using data collected by the Infections Prevention teams. Periodic testing of the surfaces for the microbial burden will be performed as well to evaluate the efficacy of copper material.


  • Actigraphy
    • Description:
    • Actigraphy builds upon a previous Intensive Care Unit (ICU) sleep quality improvement (QI) project by performing a multi-ICU intervention effort aimed at promoting nighttime rest and daytime activity in non-surgical critically ill adult patients at RRUMC. This observational pilot study will assess the feasibility of using the Philips Respironics Actiwatch 2 (AW-2) to measure patient sleep and activity during the larger intervention project. Similar to other available actigraphs, AW-2 is a small battery-operated watch-like device that uses an accelerometer to measure patient movement and embedded light sensors which can provide data on nighttime and daytime light exposure. This pilot study will assess the feasibility of AW-2 to measure rest and motion for ≥24 hours in non-surgical critically ill adult patients.


  • BrainSport
    • Description:
    • Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and sport-related concussion (SRC) are major public health problems. Although significant advances have been made in our understanding of concussion, the natural history of concussion remains poorly defined, no objective biomarker of physiological recovery exists for clinical use, and athlete knowledge of the injury remains low. This investigation is poised to address the true natural history of clinical and physiological recovery of SRC, which has critical implications for improving safety, injury prevention, and medical care in athletes and military personnel.

    • Aim 1: Create a national multi-site consortium as a sustainable framework to achieve the clinical and scientific priorities of the NCAA-DoD Grand Alliance Concussion Research Initiative. Aim 2: Conduct a prospective, longitudinal, multi-site, multi-sport investigation that delineates the natural history of concussion in males and females by incorporating a multi-dimensional assessment of standardized clinical measures of post-concussive symptomatology, performance-based testing (e.g. cognitive function, postural stability), and psychological health. Aim 3: Utilize the framework of Aim 2 to conduct advanced scientific studies that integrate biomechanical, clinical, neuroimaging, neurobiological and genetic markers of injury to advance our understanding of neurophysiological effects and recovery after SRC in college athletes.


  • Orthostasis
    • Description:
    • The age dependent normal ranges for resting vital signs are known, but the changes in heart rate and blood pressure in response to a change in posture, or the orthostatic vitals, do not have standard references for age. A better understanding of the normal responses for orthostatic vital signs in asymptomatic children and adolescents will help identify abnormal responses and those who become symptomatic with changes in posture. This project aims to measure the orthostatic responses of asymptomatic children over a broad age range using common, easily obtainable methods that are available in the ambulatory setting. The data can be used to create an age-based reference for normal ranges of orthostatic vitals and to identify characteristics that may influence those responses, enabling better care for pediatric patients with abnormal orthostatic responses or symptoms of orthostatic intolerance. The participant will have heart rate and blood pressure measurements made after lying down, upon standing, and while remaining standing.


  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
    • Description:
    • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine system disorder caused by hormone imbalance. Women with PCOS have enlarged ovaries filled with small collections of fluid. Symptoms include irregular menstrual cycles, pelvic pain, and infertility, and associated long-term complications are Type II diabetes, heart disease, and endometrial cancer. The purpose of this research study is to identify changes that take place in the body that result in PCOS by collecting specimen samples and medical information from women with or without PCOS. As part of this study, all patients will undergo a physical exam, blood tests, diagnostic procedures and surveys. Women with PCOS will be placed in randomized groups to receive the drug flutamide or a placebo in 6 - 28 day cycles until all post treatment assessments are completed.


  • Carotid-corrected Flow Time

    • Description:
      Shock is a condition of inadequate oxygen delivery to vital organs that creates end organ dysfunction and eventually death if not adequately managed. Initial management of shock includes early intravenous (IV) fluid administration. However, the decision to administer additional fluid after the initial resuscitation is a common challenge for physicians in the intensive care unit (ICU), general wards and surgical rooms. Previous methods used to manage shock, such as catheterization of the pulmonary artery or ultrasound of the inferior vena cava, have been deemed either too invasive or too unstandardized. Recently, however, ultrasound assessment of systolic corrected flow-time in carotid arteries (ccFT) has been suggested as, potentially, an easy, non-invasive method to assess fluid resuscitation. This study aims to assess the value of ultrasonographic evaluation of the carotid artery in patients with shock as a tool to predict fluid responsiveness and to evaluate whether or not change in ccFT as a test can predict IV fluid responsiveness in shock states.


  • CTRC Rounds

    • Description:
      The Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC) is the primary outpatient unit for clinical research conducted at UCLA. Specialized areas of research include Cardiology, Neurology, Neuro-oncology, Oncology, Endocrinology, Pediatrics, and Sleep Study. RAP students are granted a great opportunity to closely observe bedside clinical research as well as to interact with patients. Common procedures include, but not limited to, intravenous (IV) injection, blood draw, ultrasound testing and minor surgery. Additionally, you will be mentored one-on-one by highly experienced nurses, who can explain each procedure/study in detail. Rounding in CTRC also offers you an extensive exposure to different healthcare professionals, such as physicians, nurses, clinical research coordinators, and basic science researchers. This would help you consolidate your career goal in the healthcare field or other industries.

Skills Training

Networking and Camaraderie

Team-based Clinical Research Exposure

Application 2016

APPLY HERE

Important dates

  • Applications are open!
  • Applications are due Friday October 14, 2016, by 11:59 PM.

Instructions
Applicants must meet the following program requirements:

  • 3.0+ GPA
  • Attend weekly group meetings
  • Commit a minimum of 9+hours a week
  • One-year commitment

Applicants must upload 1) a completed application form and 2) a resume through the Online Submission Portal.

Questions
Please contact the recruitment coordinators through ctsi.rap.recruitment@gmail.com. Thank you for your interest in the UCLA CTSI Research Associates Program. Good luck everyone!

Application FAQ (2016)

Q: What if I do not have an established UCLA GPA since I am a first quarter freshman?
A: If you do not have an established UCLA GPA, then you will not be able to apply. This year, we are only accepting applications from sophomore and junior students. Transfer students may use their transfer GPA.

Q: What if I am in my final year at UCLA and will be graduating in June 2017?
A: Unfortunately, we are unable to accept freshmen and senior students at this time. Only sophomore and junior students will be eligible to apply to our program.

Q: What if I am not pursuing a pre-med major?
A: You do not have to be pursuing a pre-med major to apply. All majors are welcome. We would expect that one of your career goals is in medicine or health care.

Q: Is there any special coursework required as prerequisites?
A: No, there is no required coursework, although an introductory biology or physiology class taken either in high school or UCLA would be beneficial.

Q: Which days of the week and what times do I need to be available to commit to the 9 hours?
A: Most research is conducted Monday through Friday 7am-7pm. However, there are still opportunities for research activities outside these hours in the evenings and/or on weekends.

Q: What details should I provide in my resume?
A: The resume should include at the minimum any work or volunteer experience, extracurricular activities, and special skills/talents.

Q: How important is prior work and/or volunteer experience in a research or medical setting?
A: Prior work and/or volunteer experience in a research or medical setting is not required, but noting such activities in your application would be viewed favorably.

Q: Is the knowledge of a foreign language an advantage?
A: No, there is not an advantage for students who speak a foreign language in the selection process. Given the diversity of the UCLA student population and high school foreign language course requirements, we would expect that the majority of students will be versed in a foreign language other than English. You may wish to detail this on your resume.

Q: Will you be verifying the information in my application?
A: No, we will not be verifying the information in your application prior to the interview process, however, we may choose to verify relevant information for final candidates. In order to volunteer in the UCLA Health System, all final candidates will undergo full volunteer screening and orientation requirements, which include background checks and fingerprinting. We strongly advise that you be completely honest in all your responses prior to submission.

Q: What is the average GPA of students in the program?
A: We do not have an established GPA for students in this program because it is so new. We are encouraging all students with a GPA of 3.0 or above to apply.

Q: What is the acceptance rate in the program?
A: Approximately 15-25% of applicants are accepted into the program.

Q: How competitive is the program?
A: We expect the program to be highly competitive this year in terms of the number of applicants. The previously admitted RAP students have routinely been very satisfied with their experience and have encouraged their fellow students to apply.

Q: When will interviews and final selection take place?
A: Interviews will be conducted late October to mid-November and final selection will take place late-November.

Q: How many students will be accepted in Fall 2016?
A: We expect that 10-15 new students will be offered participation in the program.

Q: What if I am not accepted?
A: If you are not accepted into the program, we encourage you to seek out other research opportunities on campus including those offered through the Undergraduate Research Program. Those opportunities may be accessed at: http://www.ucla.edu/research/undergraduate-research

Q: Will I be notified if I am not accepted?
A: Unfortunately we may not be able to personally respond to you about not being accepted for Fall 2016, due to the high number of applicants. If you do not hear from us by the end of November, we encourage you to seek out other opportunities.

Q: If I am one of the accepted students, when will I start in the program?
A: Students will participate in the volunteer screening and orientation process during the months of December and January.

Contacts

Dr. Laurie Shaker-Irwin
Clinical Research Advisor
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
LShakerIrwin@mednet.ucla.edu

Colleen Divalerio
RAP Administrator
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
cdivalerio@mednet.ucla.edu


About

The CTSI supports the following undergraduate opportunities:

UCLA Undergraduate Science Journal - an annual print publication which showcases research and review articles written by UCLA students. From start to finish, journal production is led by an undergraduate staff consisting of reviewers, editors, and layout editors. All journal articles are peer reviewed and edited by undergraduates selected from diverse science backgrounds.

Each year, USJ staff members are honored with a certificate awarded by Vice Provost Judith Smith at an annual banquet. In addition, Executive Board members and the most outstanding research and review articles also receive the Vice Provost Award of Excellence.

Undergraduate Science Poster Day - Powell Undergraduate Research Week showcases and celebrates student research in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. Open to all UCLA undergraduates engaged in humanities, arts, and social sciences research, the week provides opportunities for students to present their research to the campus and broader community. Undergraduate Research Week 2014 also includes Science Poster Day, sponsored in part by the CTSI, for students in the life sciences, physical sciences. and engineering.

Undergraduate Science Journal

If you are interested in browsing through a past issue of the UCLA Undergraduate Science Journal, several copies are available at the UCLA College and Bio-Med libraries, the Honors Office, the Pre-Professional Advising Office, and the offices of the undergraduate science counselors. A sampling of articles from previous editions is below.

Research Articles

Characterizing the Karyophilic Property of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1) Integrase

Enhancing the Detection of Urinary Tract Infections Using Two-Phase Aqueous Micellar Systems

Oxidized Phospholipids Regulate Interleukin-6 Expression via the Protein Kinase A and Extracellular Signal-regulated Pathways in Osteoblasts

Review Articles

Fostering a New Generation of Scientists: Integrating Research into Undergraduate Science Education

The Many Faces of Cholesterol: How Modifications in LDL and HDL Alter Their Potential to Promote or Prevent Atherosclerosis

The Competitive Nature of Declarative and Nondeclarative Memory Systems: Converging Evidence from Animal and Human Brain Studies

Undergraduate Science Poster Day

Powell Undergraduate Research Week showcases and celebrates student research in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. Open to all UCLA undergraduates engaged in humanities, arts, and social sciences research, the week provides opportunities for students to present their research to the campus and broader community. Undergraduate Research Week 2014 also includes Science Poster Day for students in the life sciences, physical sciences. and engineering. To view past poster sessions sponsored by the CTSI, click the below links.

2014
Undergraduate Research Week and Poster Day

Science Poster Day Abstracts

Contacts

Website: http://www.studentgroups.ucla.edu/usj/

Student editors: usjucla@gmail.com

Advisor: Dr. Tama Hasson
    Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Research
            Director, Undergraduate Research Center – Sciences
            Adjunct Associate Professor, Integrative Biology & Physiology Department
thasson@college.ucla.edu

Federal Work-Study is a federally funded program that enables students to earn money for college costs through part-time employment. The federal government pays a portion of the students’ wages and the employer pays the balance.

The UCLA Work-Study employer portal contains information on how to advertise for and hire an undergraduate work-study student for on-campus and off-campus jobs. Job postings for the academic year are typically submitted from late summer to early fall. For more information, please go to the Work-Study employer portal.

Students who are interested in Work-Study positions can go to the UCLA Work-Study student portal.

High School

The programs listed below are not sponsored by the CTSI. They are listed here for informational purposes.

CDU Saturday Science Academy (pre-school to high school)
The Saturday Science Academy II (SSA) is the heart and lungs of the Charles R. Drew University Science Pipeline, breathing inspiration and pumping an “I can do it” belief into young children. The SSA opens the doors to curiosity and develops the investigative mind that is crucial for successful scientists and health care professionals. The SSA dispels the myth that the fields of science are either to boring, too hard, or inaccessible to African-American and Latino youth.

CDU/NIH STEP-UP Program
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health is the sponsor for the STEP-UP Program. The program provides an opportunity for high school and undergraduate students to conduct biomedical research for eight (8) to ten (10) weeks in the summer in labs throughout the country.

CDU Project STRIDE
Project STRIDE will provide an in-depth health science immersion experience to underrepresented high school students, though all program enrollees will be primarily from King/Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science, Health Sciences Academy and other high schools in the Watts community of South Los Angeles.

LA BioMed/Harbor-UCLA Summer Fellowship Program
The Summer Fellowship Program is for outstanding high school seniors to work in a scientific and medical research environment so they can gain firsthand experience in biomedical research. As part of LA BioMed/Harbor-UCLA’s Summer Fellowship Program, just a handful of students are chosen each year by a committee consisting of LA BioMed/Harbor-UCLA Medical Center faculty members for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

CityLab at UCLA
CityLab at UCLA is a science educational program run by UCLA undergraduate and graduate students to introduce high school students in the Los Angeles area to the rapidly developing world of biotechnology though “hands on” laboratory experience.

UCLA Brain Research Institute (BRI)
The BRI offers a number of programs for K-12 students to learn about neuroscience.

UCLA Pre-College Science Education Program
The Pre-College Science Education Program is for gifted but educationally disadvantaged high school students to scientific research and potential careers in the health sciences.

Undergraduate

The programs listed below are not sponsored by the CTSI. They are listed here for informational purposes.

LA BioMed/Harbor-UCLA U*Star & RISE Programs
The Minority Access to Research Centers (MARC) Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U*STAR) Program was created by the National Institutes of Health-National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to increase the number of biomedical and behavioral scientists particularly from underrepresented groups. The MARC program is designed to successfully prepare students for Ph.D. programs in biomedical sciences, which include biology, chemistry, psychology, mathematics, and computer science.
The Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) program – a Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) program – was designed to enhance the research environment at minority-serving institutions, with an overall goal to increase the interest, skills, and competitiveness of students and faculty in pursuit of careers in biomedical research. RISE participants include faculty and students who have the opportunity to conduct research at various institutions, one of which is LA BioMed/Harbor-UCLA.

UCLA PREP
UCLA PREP is a seven-week program designed to provide premedical and predental students from disadvantaged backgrounds with a means of strengthening their ability and readiness to study medicine or dentistry.

UCLA BRI SURE
BRI-SURE Pathway is an 8-week, intensive summer research- training program for exceptional undergraduate students interested in pursuing research careers in Neuroscience or Physiology.