This summer training program is open to 1st and 2nd medical students throughout the U.S and was recently funded by NIDDK as a joint program from Pediatric Nephrology and Adult Nephrology Center, after an initial successful program in 2011 led by Adult Nephrology. Twelve medical students will be funded with a stipend and expenses and exposed at an early stage in their training to a broad range of research and research career opportunities in both adult and pediatric nephrology and hypertension. The program is jointly sponsored by the Adult O’Brien Center (Ray Harris, PI) and the Pediatric Nephrology Center of Excellence (Agnes Fogo, PI). The program will be administered as a single program under the auspices of the adult O’Brien Center, using the infrastructure we have put into place for the 2011 program, in which we accommodated 10 students. There will be joint leadership by Drs. Fogo and Harris, and the program will continue to be directed by Dr. Mark deCaestecker in Adult Nephrology.
Students will spend between 8-10 weeks engaged in a research project, either bench or translational research (including renal development and regenerative medicine, acute and chronic renal injury, regulation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, cell-extracellular matrix interactions, angiogenesis and eicosanoid biology, or translational topics such as acute renal failure, studies of inflammation and nutrition in dialysis and studies related to literacy and numeracy in the CKD and ESRD populations). Potential preceptors include Drs. Bogdan Borza, Rich Breyer, Nancy Brown, Jorge Capdevila, Kerrie Cavanaugh, Mark deCaestecker, Geoffrey Fleming, Agnes Fogo, Al George, Leslie Gewin, Volker Haase, Ray Harris, Billy Hudson, Adriana Hung, Alp Ikizler, Valentina Kon, Matt Luther, John Oates, Ambra Pozzi, Eddie Siew, Takamune Takahashi, Roy Zent and Ming-Zhi Zhang. Students will also attend lectures on renal physiology and pathophysiology (1-2 hours/week) and biweekly small group discussions led by key faculty from Nephrology for the students to discuss their ongoing research projects and plans. We will also provide the students exposure to clinical aspects of adult or pediatric nephrology and organize two round table discussions with other summer research program preceptors for students to discuss and explore research career options and opportunities in adult or pediatric nephrology and hypertension. There is also a joint colloquium with the Vanderbilt Student Research Training Program (SRTP) in Diabetes and Endocrinology, a summer research program that has been successfully running for the last 30 years under the auspices of the Vanderbilt Diabetes Research and Training Center (DRTC). Students and visiting speakers will present their research findings in poster discussion sessions with round table discussions on research and career opportunities. These interactions will enhance educational and mentoring opportunities for students and faculty alike.
In addition to our proposal for the Summer Medical Student Summer Research Program at Vanderbilt for 2012, we will act as the coordinating center for a summer research symposium for all of the medical students participating in the O’Brien Center summer internship programs across the country, providing a central focus for all of the participating O’Brien Kidney Research Centers in which the participating students would be able to network and present their research at a National forum but in a mentored and supportive environment. Invited speakers will provide students with broad opportunities to learn about various personal experiences in research and obtain career advice. This program will be combined with the Diabetes Research Center (DRC) that is directed by Dr. Alvin Powers, to optimize efficiency and reduce costs. Thus, this educational and mentoring opportunity of the joint summer medical student program will also greatly enrich opportunities for networking and establishing collaborations for Pediatric Nephrology Center of Excellence investigators, and provide ample opportunity for interdisciplinary collaborations, and also enhance exposure to Pediatric Nephrology for medical students early in their careers.