Summer Research Experience

Student Projects

Leah Bryan

Leah Bryan
Medical Student, Class of 2020

Project Details

Location/PI: UTRGV South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute, Brownsville, TX / Dr. Joanne Curran

Type: Basic Science, Paid, Self-organized

Topic: Genetic Correlation of Anxiety/PTSD and Brain Morphology

Would you recommend summer research to MS1s deciding what to do over the summer? Why or why not?

Definitely. The faculty at STDOI are wonderful and they are very helpful and accommodating for whatever type of project you want to do.

Do you think you should have done something else with your summer? If so, what?

No.

Ye Ji Choi

Ye Ji Choi
Medical Student, Class of 2020

Project Details

Location/PI:  University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Type: Basic Science/Clinical, Paid, Formal Program (NIDDK Medical Student Research Program)

Topic: Atypical Diabetes/T1D

Would you recommend summer research to MS1s deciding what to do over the summer? Why or why not?

YES. It is a great way to assess whether you would like to pursue research as a physician, while also getting to spend your summer in a cool place.

Do you think you should have done something else with your summer? If so, what?

I would have liked to shadow physicians to get a better grasp on what specialty I would like to do.

Daniella Concha

Daniella Concha
Medical Student, Class of 2020

Project Details

Location/PI: Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY

Type: Basic Science, Paid, Formal Program (Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons NIH Summer Research Program for Medical Students)

Topic: Genome Wide Association Study Across Multiple Nephrotic Syndrome Phenotypes

Would you recommend summer research to MS1s deciding what to do over the summer? Why or why not?

Yes! It's a great mix of travel and productivity!

Do you think you should have done something else with your summer? If so, what?

No, I was very happy with my summer experience!

Gabriel Franklin

Gabriel Franklin
Medical Student, Class of 2020

Project Details

Location/PI: The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN / Dr. Y.S. Prakash

Type: Basic Science, Paid, Formal Program (Diversity in Medicine Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship)

Topic: Arginase and Ornithine Aminotransferase Up-regulation in Human Airway in Epithelial Cells Due to Hyperoxia

Would you recommend summer research to MS1s deciding what to do over the summer? Why or why not?

Yes. Yes. Yes. This was a fantastic experience, they pay for everything. This includes airfare and apartment stay. you even get a very nice stipend to live off of for food/paying your rent back here in Edinburg. Our medical school has a summer stipend that will help you with rent if you're doing a program like this. 

Do you think you should have done something else with your summer? If so, what?

If you're interested in research, this program is something to take into serious consideration. I think this was a perfect summer opportunity.

David Goldblatt

David Goldblatt
Medical Student, Class of 2020

Project Details

Location/PI: MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 

Type: Basic Science, Paid, Formal program (First Year Medical Student Program)

Topic: Innate Immunity in Asthma

Would you recommend summer research to MS1s deciding what to do over the summer? Why or why not?

Yes, research is the engine behind all clinical intervention you will use in the clinic. Even if you don't want to become a physician-scientist outright, working in a lab can be useful to you clinically. You will begin to understand how information is generated de novo in basic science and translated to therapeutic options. As a direct benefit from research, I have established a more critical eye for published guidelines and formulate my own decisions about clinical decisions. A good surgeon may never blame his tools, but they will always update to the a better version, if available.

Do you think you should have done something else with your summer? If so, what?

It may have been better to do research that could be continued longitudinally during the year after the completion of the program.

Michael LaPelusa

Michael LaPelusa
Medical Student, Class of 2020

Project Details

Location/PI: Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Type: Translational, Paid, Self-organized (Royal Aeronautical Society GP Olley Aerospace Medicine Scholarship)

Topic: Measuring DLCO

Would you recommend summer research to MS1s deciding what to do over the summer? Why or why not?

Yes - arranging opportunities yourself may be challenging, but probably allow a bit more flexibility (if done right).

Do you think you should have done something else with your summer? If so, what?

It's a personal choice, but I decided to review old material (biochem, micro, immuno, cardio, pulm, renal, etcl.) so I wouldn't completely forget it.

Rogerio Montes

Rogerio Montes
Medical Student, Class of 2020

Project Details

Location/PI: UTRGV SOM, Edinburg, TX / Dr. Annelyn Torres

Type: Basic Science, Paid, Self-organized

Topic: CRFR-1 proteins in rats with endometriosis

Would you recommend summer research to MS1s deciding what to do over the summer? Why or why not?

Definitely, it is a perfect chance to pick up research skills. I did not have previous knowledge in research, so I was glad to get involved with this.

Do you think you should have done something else with your summer? If so, what?

I could have planned out more time to review past information learned, but the break was needed.

Niral Patel

Niral Patel
Medical Student, Class of 2020

Project Details

Location/PI: Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN / Dr. Owen McGuinness

Type: Basic Sciences, Paid, Formal Program (Vanderbilt Student Research Training Program)

Topic: Pyruvate Tolerance Test (Hepatic Gluconeogenesis)

Would you recommend summer research to MS1s deciding what to do over the summer? Why or why not?

Yes, you will get matched based upon your level of experience and interests. The program is set up well and Nashville is a really fun city. However, you might want to do something else if you are determined to get on a publication. Not everyone who participates in the program gets the opportunity to be on one. You are guaranteed a poster though and there is a conference at the end which you will present your poster at.

Do you think you should have done something else with your summer? If so, what?

No.

Victoria Ragland

Victoria Ragland
Medical Student, Class of 2020

Project Details 

Location/PI: UT Southwestern, Dallas, TX / Dr. Joseph Takahashi

Type: Basic Science, Paid, Self-organized

Topic: Circadian Rhythms

Would you recommend summer research to MS1s deciding what to do over the summer? Why or why not?

YES! I can't think of a better way to have spent my summer and can't wait to go back. The PI and all lab members were fantastic and the experience confirmed my interest in research/academic medicine. It was also nice to go explore another city as well as meet with program directors at a residency program I'm interested in.

Do you think you should have done something else with your summer? If so, what?

I could have definitely reviewed MS1 material more and filled in some gaps in my knowledge. On the other hand, I felt a lot more productive when we got back to school because I got a nice break over the summer so it just depends on personal preference.

Rafael Raya

Rafael Raya
Medical School, Class of 2020

Project Details 

Location/PI: UTRGV SOM, Edinburg, TX / Dr. Eron Manusov

Type: Clinical, Unpaid, Self-organized

Topic: Establishing an Integrated Care Clinic

Would you recommend summer research to MS1s deciding what to do over the summer? Why or why not?

Yes. It's a great opportunity to look into a new area of interest.

Do you think you should have done something else with your summer? If so, what?

No.