2019 Summer Research Program

May 31, 2019

Institute for Public Health Welcomes 2019 Summer Research Program Cohorts

Program includes various seminars open to the public

Photo credit: James Byard/ WUSTL Photos

Summer at Washington University in St. Louis means the Institute for Public Health welcomes selected students from diverse universities across the world, to participate in its popular, informative and collaborative Summer Research Program.

Presented annually, the Summer Research Program invites students early in the year to submit a personal application with academic references. Those who seek challenge, research and experience in one of the public-health related tracks offered, are then selected and matched with faculty mentors to explore and grow academically with their peers in a diverse environment at Washington University in St. Louis.

“The Summer Research Program enables students currently enrolled in a U.S.-based university to be a part of an eight-week, intensive and comprehensive experience centered on one of the offered public health tracks,” said William Powderly, the Larry J. Shapiro Director of the Institute for Public Health, the Dr. J. William Campbell Professor of Medicine and co-director of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. “The program gives students the opportunity to participate in full-time research at one of the nation’s top research universities alongside world-renowned faculty scholars who are making an impact in public health in our community and across the globe.”

The 2019 Summer Research Program includes two tracks. Students may select one in which to participate:

Beginning June 3, students in the Public & Global Health Track will converge on St. Louis to work with their faculty mentors on such issues as sexual health; mobile technology and its impact on mental health disorders; breast cancer risks; epidemiological factors; HIV; and the intergenerational transmission of health.

Meet the 2019 Public and Global Health track cohort

Several students will work on global health research projects in Ghana and Uganda experiencing real global health situations in Africa, and learning strategies for working with sensitive issues and in vulnerable communities.

“My mentors are my role models, and my fellow program participants inspire me! The Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program helped me make the connection between academic research and public health implications. This program was an unforgettable experience.”

Also beginning June 3, students in the Aging & Neurological Diseases Track, will investigate different facets of aging as well as the most common neurological diseases prevalent among aging adults. Students attend workshops and seminar sessions which focus on stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, Parkinson’s disease, housing & transportation and social relationships. Students also engage in classroom learning about aging research and research among those with memory loss. Meet the 2019 Aging & Neurological Diseases track cohort.

As part of their field research, participants will visit the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis, Memory Care Home Solutions and the Federal Reserve, the latter in order to learn more about financial exploitation among the aging population. Guided by Faculty Mentors from across Washington University in St. Louis, students will conduct lab work across departments such as Psychology, Occupational Therapy, Cardiology, Physical Therapy and Geriatric and Nutritional Sciences.

“Looking back, it was a fantastic opportunity that has opened so many doors for me, whether gaining valuable clinical experience or meeting colleagues I know will keep in touch years down the road. My biggest takeaway from the program was that old age can be a great experience — if you prepare for it.”

Participants in each track spend nearly 40 hours a week networking and collaborating with faculty mentors on specific research projects; conducting research in labs or in the field; attending informational seminars and workshops; investigating St. Louis communities; and working alongside public-health related organizations.

At the end of eight weeks, students present a summary of their program experience and research to an audience of peers, educators and the public. This symposium is free and open to the public, as are many of the Summer Research Program events and activities.

In the future, the Institute for Public Health hopes to add additional public health-related research tracks. Some topics open to consideration are community health partnerships; dissemination & implementation science; public health data; and health economics & policy.

“The Summer Research Program has been a catalyst for my career in global health. I’ve made incredible friends, learned from brilliant leaders in the field, and strengthened my skills as a future research scientist. I am so grateful to have been a participant!”

The Institute for Public Health harnesses the strengths of Washington University in St. Louis to address the complex health issues and health disparities facing the St. Louis region and the world. Its goal is to improve community and global health through the creation of new knowledge, the application and translation of science, and the training of advanced academic and practice leaders in public health.

For more information about the Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program, contact: publichealth@wustl.edu.