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High School, Undergraduate & Pre-Doctoral Training Opportunties

High School Student Training Opportunities

Duke Cancer Institute

Duke Cancer Institute offers research and shadowing experiences to high school students, including students attending the North Carolina School of Science and Math, a competitive statewide residential high school for juniors and seniors in Durham, and students attending the City of Medicine Academy, a magnet public high school in Durham focused on health and life sciences. Duke Cancer Institute faculty also deliver educational lectures especially for these students. Past topics have included “Viruses and Cancer Risk,” “How to become an Oncologist” and “How Cancer Metastasizes.”

Duke University

The Duke University community has several opportunities for high school students to engage in biomedical research. The NIH funded (Science Education Partnership Award) Building Opportunities and Overtures in Science and Technology (BOOST) program, is designed to excite middle and high school underrepresented minority public school students about science and inspire them to pursue careers in medicine and related STEM fields. BOOST features research experiences, individual mentoring and coaching by medical and graduate students. The program has demonstrated success at retaining and graduating its participants. Nineteen of the 20 first class of scholars graduating from high school, and 12 enrolled in college.

The CTSA funded Duke Summer Training in Academic Research (STAR) Program provides a high-quality eight-week research experience for high school students focusing on pharmaco-epidemiological research and writing. STAR program participants are matched with Duke faculty mentors to work on an original, hypothesis-driven project, work with a medical writer on scientific writing, with a statistician on applied statistics, receive training on the responsible conduct of research and have the opportunity to shadow a physician.

Undergraduate Training Opportunities

Duke Cancer Institute

The DCI Office of Health Equity Stakeholder Engagement and Research Internship Program, directed by Nadine Barrett, PhD, engages diverse undergraduate students from NCCU, Duke, and UNC in community engagement and research through health awareness events in the community.

Duke University

The Duke funded Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP), co-directed by Margarethe Joanna Kuehn, PhD, provides a 10-week hands-on experience in biomedical research for under-represented undergraduate students who are considering joining a PhD program. The SROP emphasizes direct laboratory experience, along with weekly research seminars and roundtable discussions, academic and career-planning workshops, GRE preparation, mock interviews for graduate school and a closing symposia where the students present their research.

The Duke Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology hosts an ASPET funded Summer Undergraduate Research in Pharmacology and Cancer Biology fellowship program (SURPH) for rising undergraduate juniors and seniors who are interested in future graduate study. This ten-week summer research experience focuses on learning how scientific discovery at the bench can be translated to treatment of disease, exposing students to the connection between biomedical research and drug discovery, and creating networking opportunities for students to pursue graduate study.

Pre-Doctoral/Medical School Training

Duke Cancer Institute

The OCRCD supports pre-doctoral training through a number of institutional T32 training grants, including the T32 in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology directed by Blanche Capel, PhD; the T32 in Cell and Molecular Biology, directed by Sue Jinks-Robertson, PhD; the T32 in Tissue Engineering, directed by Charles Gersbach, PhD; and the T32 in Medical Imaging, directed by Kathyrn Nightingale, PhD.  

Duke University

The Duke Scholars in Molecular Medicine (DSMM), which includes an Oncology track directed by DCI members Andrew Armstrong, MD, David Hsu, MD, PhD, and Stephanie Sarantopoulos, MD, PhD, offers a nine-month program to PhD candidates and postdoctoral associates who are studying basic sciences to gain hands on experience in oncology, including clinical exposure in clinics and the hospital, a case conference series, a clinical trial-oriented journal club, and a special seminar series in which the groups will interact with accomplished translational scientists who have gone bedside to bench to bedside.

They also participate in the DCI supported Molecular Tumor Board, a weekly meeting of medical, surgical and radiation oncologists, cancer genetics, grad students and post-docs, where molecular results are translated clinical practice. The Duke School of Medicine Third Year Program is devoted to a 10- to 12-month rigorous scholarly experience in biomedical-related research. Study programs include Radiation Oncology and Molecular Medicine with an Oncological Sciences track. David Hsu, MD, PhD, directs the Molecular Medicine Program. In addition, DCI members are active teaching and training graduate students, with Ann Marie Pendergast, PhD, serving as Director of Graduate Studies for the Molecular Cancer Biology (MCB) Program.

DCI members serve as mentors for the Duke BioCoRE program, which aims to create a diverse scientific community of scholars by offering highly-mentored research experiences, programs designed to build skills in scientific excellence, structured mentoring experiences between peers, graduate students and faculty as well as personalized career advising to underrepresented minorities.