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CCTSI > Education & Training > Summer Undergraduate Minority Mentoring in Translational Science (SUMMiT)

Summer Undergraduate Minority Mentoring in Translational Science (SUMMiT)

Summit EventThe CCTSI Summer Undergraduate Minority Mentoring in Translational Science (SUMMiT) program brings together underrepresented scholars in the following programs: GEMS, Cancer Research, UPP, SURF, UROP, and RISE for the purpose of creating a community of leadership and learning. SUMMiT is a collaborative series designed to quantitatively and qualitatively enhance summer undergraduate research programs by focusing on the unique needs of Hispanic, Native American, and Alaskan Native students. Selected trainees will participate in targeted career development sessions, a 1-day translational research fair, as well as a summer “Leaders Lunch” series highlighting the accomplishments of our diverse university faculty. In addition, the CCTSI will provide stipend support for qualifying candidates in these programs to encourage and increase diversity across clinical translational disciplines. For more information on the individual programs, please follow the links below.

Graduate Experience for Multicultural Students (GEMS)

GEMS introduces undergraduate students from diverse and traditionally under-represented groups to the biomedical research career opportunities offered at the graduate level of a major health sciences center. Sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Program duration: June 1 - August 6
Lecture Series: Lectures in biochemistry and molecular biology. Faculty research seminars in various disciplines.
Contact: or 303.724.6085

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program (SURF) in Pharmacology

The SURF program introduces students from diverse, disadvantaged, and all traditionally under-represented groups to graduate/research career opportunities in pharmacology. Participating students have the opportunity to conduct mentored research in a pharmacology lab, as well as learn about graduate school programs. They interact with fellow students, lab members and faculty; they also attend weekly seminars to present their research findings. Training is available in cellular and molecular pharmacology, signal transduction, neuropharmacology, biochemistry, molecular structure, bioinformatics, and behavioral genetics. Specific questions being researched focus on areas such as cancer biology, cell biology, alcohol and drugs of abuse, learning and memory, genomics, proteomics, lipid maps, and structural biology. Sponsored, in part, by American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET). The SURF program receives an average of 17-20 applications, with 5 students accepted per year.

Program duration: 10 weeks, late May-- early August
Lecture Series: Pharmacology seminars each Wednesday at noon
Contact: Liz Bowen, 303.724.3565

Undergraduate Pre-Health Program (UPP)

The UPP program at the Anschutz Medical Campus is made possible by a partnership between the University of Colorado Denver, Office of Diversity and Kaiser Permanente along with the CCTSI. Students selected for this program come from a diverse background of first-generation college or low income status as well as minorities traditionally under-represented in the health professions. Program participants shadow medical professionals, conduct research and take part in workshops on health disparities and cultural competence. They are also required to take the prep-courses and tests necessary to apply to either medical, pharmacy, nursing, or dental school (i.e. DAT, MCAT or GRE). An average of 22-30 students are funded each year with an application pool of 60-70.

Program duration: First week of June - July 31
Lecture Series: Mock interviews, test preparation, personal statement workshops, research training, lab etiquette, diversity training
Contact: Dominic Martinez, Director, 303.724.8003

Pediatric Student Research Program

The Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine offers summer research opportunities for rising high school seniors, college students and first-year medical students. Students will work in the lab with members of the Department of Pediatrics faculty at Children's Hospital Colorado/University of Colorado on the Anschutz Medical Campus. This competitive summer program will introduce students to research opportunities related to child health. The summer internships will include opportunities for students to participate in a lecture research series as well as present their research at the completion of the summer internship.

Program duration: Monday, June 4, 2012 – Friday, August 3, 2012 (40 hour work week for 9 weeks)
Lecture Series: Weekly research seminars will be given every Friday at noon by members of the program faculty.
Contact: Jessica Jensen, Program Administrator, 720.777.7276

Undergraduate Research Practicum in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Summer Undergraduate Research Practicum in is designed to introduce young people to the discipline of research as well as the profession of child and adolescent psychiatry by having them participate in research activities prior to their advancing to graduate school.

The goals of the program are to:

  1. Provide students from diverse backgrounds who have an interest in the mental health profession with a meaningful clinical and/or translational research experience in the field of psychiatry. We hope that students can learn first-hand about the substance, the spirit, and the methodology of current scientific research in the field and to encourage them in their pursuit of advanced education.
  2. Expose practicum students to the clinical programs at Children’s Hospital Department of Psychiatry including Inpatient Unit, Eating Disorders Unit, Neuropsychiatric Special Care program, Medical Day Treatment Program, Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy program and Intensive Outpatient services.
  3. Advance faculty’s clinical and translational research endeavors

Program duration: 10-weeks, May-August
Lecture Series: Ten lectures will be given on a variety of topics by staff from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Additionally accepted applicants will participate in lab and hospital tours in coordination with SET program, research trainings on EndNote, and CITI for Human Subjects.

Student Cancer Research Fellowship Program

This program provides opportunities for students who are interested in exploring careers in medical research related to cancer through an education grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). During the fellowship, students are paired with preceptors from a variety of laboratories and clinics at the University of Colorado Denver and Boulder campuses and other Denver area healthcare institutions such as Denver Health and the VA. Laboratory-based research experiences in which students conduct their own experiments, write their results, and present their findings to other students is the focus of this intense 6-8 week program. 40 students are enrolled each year out of an applicant base of 150.

Program duration: Roughly June 4 - August 6
Lecture Series: 18 lectures are given on a variety of topics by cancer researchers and clinicians (exp: The Molecular Basis of Cancer, Recent Research Advances in Prostate Cancer)
Contact: Jill Penafiel, 303.724.3174

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP)

The UROP program provides support for undergraduate research partnerships between faculty and students at the University of Colorado, Downtown Denver and Boulder campuses. The program's mission includes facilitating and encouraging student/faculty collaboration, fostering personalized learning and creating opportunities for undergraduates to further develop their professional skills. Funded projects range from scholarly or creative activity to traditional scientific experimentation to the creation of new artistic works. 30 to 40 students or student projects are funded each year.

Program duration: July 1- June 30
Lecture Series: Participating students attend the Research and Creative Activities Day
Denver Contact: John Lanning, PhD, Director of Undergraduate Experiences, 303.315.2134
Boulder Contact: Joan Gabriele, Director, Special Undergraduate Enrichment Programs, 303.735.6677

Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE)

This program is funded by the NIH to help minority-serving institutions increase the number of students from groups underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research who seek to complete PhD degree programs in these fields. Housed primarily at Dine College, (the First Tribal College in the US), RISE appoints students to internships at sites across the Southwest. During these six-week placements, they participate in hands-on, community-based cancer or diabetes prevention research.

Program duration:
Lecture Series:
Contact: Spero Manson, PhD, 303.724.1444

Building Research Achievement in Neuroscience (BRAiN)

This program is for undergraduate students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in neuroscience research. Students participating in this program will attend the Rocky Mountain Regional Neuroscience Group Annual Meeting on March 31st and April 1st and participate in a paid, eight week summer research internship at the University of Colorado Denver's brand new, state of the art, Anschutz Medical Campus. During the summer internship, students will work with a neuroscience mentor in a biomedical research lab and receive hands-on training in neuroscience techniques and research.

Program duration: 8 weeks; starts June 1st
Lecture Series: Students attend a weekly seminar designed to introduce basic neuroscience topics and learn how to apply to a neuroscience graduate program.
Contact: Ernesto Salcedo, PhD, 303.724.3430

Clinical Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE)

CURE provides an hourly wage to undergraduate students at the University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus desiring to gain clinical research experience while the BURST program provides training to students at the CU Boulder campus. Students who receive funding through this program work on biomedical/bioscience projects under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Program duration: TBD
Lecture Series: At the beginning of your research experience, students will attend a day-long orientation and will be expected to participate in various lectures and trainings throughout the funding period.

Summer Education and Training Program (SET)

The SET program offers opportunities for students who are interested in exploring careers in psychiatric medical research. The focus of the Schizophrenia Research Group is on understanding schizophrenia and other serious mental illness from a variety of perspectives.

Program duration: 8-weeks
Lecture Series:


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 SUMMiT Activities

Networking and Professionalism

June 13th, 11:30am-1:00pm
Academic Office 1 Boardroom
Anschutz Medical Campus

This presentation will be interactive, focusing on the importance of both areas in relation to the scientific academic field. Participants will also have the opportunity to interact with one another and start building community among the SUMMiT cohort.

From Student to PI

June 27th, 11:30am-1:00pm
Academic Office 1 Boardroom
Anschutz Medical Campus

Round table discussion format, that will break up CU faculty & students by the several stages in the field. This will allow SUMMiT participants to interact with CU scientist personal from graduate students to PIs and gain a better understanding of all stages to becoming a researcher.

Graduate School: Do's and Don'ts

July 11th, 11:30am-1:00pm
Academic Office 1 Boardroom
Anschutz Medical Campus

Presentation will focus on applying to graduate school, what to consider through the process, do’s and don’ts, etc.