Gaining research experience over summer

11 January 2013

Two Bachelor of Science students and one Bachelor of Biomedicine student have won a scholarship to study in an American research lab at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee.

Courtney Cini, ZunMing Lim and Emma Chen will conduct a research project at the Vanderbilt International Summer Research Academy (VISRA) in January and February 2013. Students have been paired with researchers across various departments of the university’s Medical Center; Courtney will be studying obesity, ZunMing will be studying the serotonergic pathways of the brain and biological clock of the body and Emma will be looking at the role of the ephrin receptor in cancer metastasis. The program includes a weekly mentoring session with academic staff, opportunities to interact with research students and staff, and the presentation of their research at the end of the program.

The students are very excited about the opportunities the program presents to learn about how to conduct research, expand their lab techniques, communicate and present their research, and to gain an insight into the life of a researcher and career pathways. They are looking forward to understanding the applications of some of the theories they are currently studying and building a foundation for a future research career.

Joining them for the Southern Hemisphere Summer research will be two students from New Zealand and one student from Peru (there is another program for the Northern Hemisphere summer). The scholarship covers all return transportation to Vanderbilt, visa fees, housing, health insurance and a generous stipend to cover daily expenses. Courtney, ZunMing and Emma feel very honoured and fortunate to be granted such a wonderful opportunity and there is no doubt they will make the most of it.

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