August 12, 2005
Summer program enriches minority students and MGH researchers
If flipflops and sunburns herald the arrival of summer to most of the
world, at an academic medical center the sign of the season might be the
influx of new students. Each year, the MGH welcomes scientific hopefuls
through a variety of programs for medical students, college students and
even high schoolers. Since 1991, talented minority students have vied
for 12 spots in the MGH Multicultural Affairs Office's highly regarded
Summer Research Trainee Program (SRTP) to the great benefit of
mentors and students alike.
MGH neurologist Mia MacCollin, MD, has been committed to teaching and mentoring young students since her days as a postdoctoral fellow at the MGH in the early 1990s. She's found the students she has mentored through the SRTP to be consistently excellent one of the reasons she's participated in the program for the past four years. MacCollin, who's particularly interested in helping to bring along the next generation of female scientists, says students have helped her grow as a researcher. "Designing good student projects and seeing them through takes a great deal of time and mental focus," MacCollin says. "Providing structure and guidance to these students has to be a priority, but with the commitment comes real reward."
This summer, MacCollin has had an MIT undergraduate, Andria Balogh, in
her lab. Under MacCollin's supervision, Balogh worked to isolate genetic
markers in schwannomatosis, a hereditary disorder characterized by the
growth of nerve tumors. Other SRTP students have done projects in emergency
medicine, general medicine, infectious disease, molecular biology, neurosurgery,
orthopædics and pediatric health policy.
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