• Article
  • Jul 21 2022

Undergrads Get Hands-on Summer Experience in Biomedical Research

Students in the inaugural cohort of UK's Undergraduate Summer Training in Cardiovascular Research program.

A new immersive summer research program at the University of Kentucky is helping to prepare the next generation of biomedical researchers.

Throughout the summer, students in the Undergraduate Summer Training in Cardiovascular Research (USTiCR) program get hands-on lab training and experience and one-on-one mentorship from a UK faculty member.

USTiCR, supported by UK’s Cardiovascular Research Priority Area, is open to undergraduate students who are interested in biomedical research.

Students selected for the program receive a stipend and are paired with a faculty mentor and work full-time in their laboratories, where they contribute to cardiovascular-focused research.

The faculty mentors participating in USTiCR come from eight colleges across UK, creating the opportunity for diverse projects in population-based, basic, translational, and clinical research.

Thirteen students were selected to participate in the program’s inaugural cohort:

  • Isha Chauhan, University of Kentucky (Gregory Graf, Ph.D., mentor)

  • Katelyn Collins, University of Kentucky (Frédérique Yiannikouris, Ph.D., mentor)

  • David Graf, Mississippi State University (Jonathan Wenk, Ph.D., mentor)

  • James Hao, University of Kentucky (Louis Hersh, Ph.D., mentor)

  • Rachel Hutchison, Mississippi State University (Robert Helsley, Ph.D., mentor)

  • Karolina Kopyonkina, University of Kentucky (Zhenheng Guo, Ph.D., mentor)

  • Gloria Lwin, Centre College (Robin Shoemaker, Ph.D., mentor)

  • Olivia Minor, University of Kentucky (Analia Loria, Ph.D., mentor)

  • Linda Omali, University of Kentucky (Sidney Whiteheart, Ph.D., mentor)

  • Diksha Satish, University of Kentucky (Lance Johnson, Ph.D., mentor)

  • David Schneider, Centre College (Brian Delisle, Ph.D., mentor)

  • Devin Thompson, University of Kentucky (Guarang Vaidya, Ph.D., mentor)

  • Pengjun Wang, Washington University in St. Louis (Hong Lu, M.D., Ph.D., mentor)

In addition to lab work, students also engage in weekly career development activities throughout the 10-week course that include educational and professional seminars along with social and networking activities.

Students will present their research findings in a poster session at the conclusion of the program in August. They also have the opportunity to present their work during UK’s Cardiovascular Research Day in October.