Katen Scholars and UCIHP Fellows Shine

UChicago Careers in Health Professions Katen Scholars and Fellows in Community and Social Medicine closed out their summers of research with a symposium at the end of August in the Gordon Center for Integrative Science Atrium.

The Katen Scholars Program, established in 2009 with generous funding from Karen Katen, AB’70, pairs selected students with a faculty mentor for a ten-week paid summer research position pertaining to bench science. This was the inaugural summer for the UCIHP Fellows in Community and Social Medicine program, funded by Myrtle Potter, AB ’80, which is also a ten-week paid summer research program. The projects concentrate their research on community health and the intersection of medicine and the social sciences. Ayesha Crocket AB’13, the UCIHP Fellows teaching assistant, said, “We had a rather ambitious summer. The students were expected to conduct research during the summer that will ultimately shed light onto the many inequities that exist in regards to health outcomes.”

While the research is an invaluable experience, both the Katen Scholars and the UCIHP Fellows also have the chance to learn about and interact with the social context of medicine through the weekly seminars and community service hours. Katen Scholar, Emily Tixier AB’15, said, “I had previously decided that I only wanted to pursue research in the biological sciences, but this program has helped me to realize how personally significant and fulfilling a career in medicine might be. [It] was an enlightening experience.”

For many, the research prompted new discoveries every day. The cohort nature of the programs also allowed the students to explore discoveries made within their peers’ research. “The great diversity of projects being completed throughout the summer meant that I learned something new about the biological sciences every time I talked to a student,” said Tixier AB’15.

Channeling the UChicago spirit of research and dialogue culminated in the professional and personal presentation of summer research at the symposium. “It made me very proud...[and] I am thankful that I had the opportunity to be part of such an encouraging and talented group of students this summer.”