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Giving to medicine and health at the University of Minnesota

Summer program pairs students with research mentors

For one special group of students, summer isn’t about waiting tables, babysitting, or hanging out at the mall. Instead, they’ll be working side by side with researchers from the Lillehei Heart Institute (LHI), learning about everything from stem cell therapies to career paths in cardiovascular medicine.

The LHI’s Summer Research Scholars Program pairs qualified students with a laboratory and faculty mentor. Along with participating in intensive basic or clinical research, the students visit places like the University’s Visible Heart Lab and medical device giant Medtronic, Inc.

“We give the scholars the freedom to explore, in a fairly sophisticated fashion, different career options within the world of cardiovascular science and medicine,” says Mary Garry, Ph.D., an LHI researcher who directs the 10-week program. “This helps them make educated choices as they move forward in their careers.”

This competitive program is open to high school students age 16 or older and undergraduate students pursuing health-related degrees.

“We get applicants from all over the country,” Garry notes. “We look for students with a great deal of curiosity and students who are willing to come in and give us their very best effort.”

Many scholars describe the experience as life-changing, she says: “When young students know that a mentor takes a keen interest in their development, the sky is the limit.”

Applications for the summer 2012 program will be accepted through February 15. Apply at z.umn.edu/summerscholars.

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