Every summer, researchers at the IU Simon Cancer Center welcome bright, young high school and undergraduate students into their labs as part of a Summer Research Program.
Dr. Rebecca Chan is a co-director of the program and says students are paired with a mentor for a hands-on lab experience, “Projects like culturing cells - maybe looking to see how cells respond to certain drugs, for example, like cancer drugs," she says. "It could be looking at gene-expressions. It is “in the lab” research.”
IUPUI sophomore Joseph Boone was paired with a pancreatic researcher this past summer.
“Oh, I really enjoyed it," she says. "It was my first chance to do real research where I’m actually running most of the experiments.”
Chan says while the experiences in the lab are important, the connections made during the summer are a lasting value for the young researchers.
“You are clearly embedded with everyone working in that lab. So now you have connections to graduate students, post doctoral fellows, the faculty," Chan says. "That becomes important in the future if you need reference letters for things. So that’s where I think these kinds of programs have the biggest impact for students,"
Chan says it’s full-time work for nine weeks and students must provide their own transportation. More information is available at www.cancer.iu.edu/srp