LOS ANGELES (July 16, 2012) - As part of its commitment to reach out into the local communities in which it serves, for more than 30 years LA BioMed has offered a unique opportunity for outstanding high school seniors to work in a scientific and medical research environment as part of LA BioMed's Summer Fellowship Program. This year, 18 Los Angeles-area high school graduates were chosen to participate by a committee consisting of LA BioMed and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center faculty members for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
First established in 1978, LA BioMed's Summer Fellowship Program receives nearly 100 applications each year, with 18 students being accepted each summer. Students who are selected for the program spend eight weeks assisting assigned mentors, who are accomplished medical scientists, in the study of topics such as the nature or progression of diseases, the efficacy of medications, and many other important areas of scientific research.
"The program has proved to be a breeding ground for some of the most accomplished clinician-scientists today," said Stewart Laidlaw, Ph.D., Associate VP of Compliance and Director of Educational Outreach at LA BioMed. "We're extremely proud of our graduates. Many former program participants have gone on to attend and graduate from medical school or graduate school, with some eventually returning as post-graduate physicians or fellows at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center."
While in the program, participating students have a unique opportunity to learn about careers in medicine and in the health sciences. They assist researchers in their work, attend clinical conferences and hospital rounds, participate in weekly lunch meetings, and gain firsthand experience working in a scientific and medical research environment. At the end of the summer, students participate in a Culmination Ceremony where they are able to present posters summarizing their research projects, and a select few are also chosen to give oral presentations.
Since 1978, more than 300 students have graduated from the program, with more than 90 high school valedictorians and four Presidential (White House) Scholars having participated.
About LA BioMed
Founded in 1952, LA BioMed is one of the country's leading nonprofit independent biomedical research institutes. It has approximately 100 principal researchers conducting studies into improved treatments and cures for cancer, inherited diseases, infectious diseases, illnesses caused by environmental factors and more. It also educates young scientists and provides community services, including prenatal counseling and childhood nutrition programs. LA BioMed is academically affiliated with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and located on the campus of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. For more information, please visit www.LABioMed.org.