Summer Program Curriculum


One of the goals of the summer program is to introduce undergraduate students to life as a graduate student in the biomedical sciences. Summer Research Associates will participate in all aspects of life in our department. Upon entering the program, students go through an orientation, which includes an introduction to the Department and presentations by representatives from Institutional Safety, Radiation Safety, and Laboratory Animal Resources. Once students enter the labs, they are quickly enveloped by the lab culture. Summer Research Associates are given a research project and work closely with their lab group throughout the summer.


In addition to the activities of the Summer Research Associates labs, all students attend field trips designed especially for undergraduates, and all other departmental events. Students also take a two-part course, which meets two mornings each week. The first half of the course focuses on techniques and provides students with introductions to various basic laboratory techniques including tissue culture, electrophysiological, and neurochemistry techniques. The second part of the course is entitled Biological Bases of Brain Function. This course includes topics such as Excitability and Conduction, The Aging Brain, Substance Abuse & Addiction, and Genes & the Brain. The course is the equivalent of a one-credit course and is taught in the manner of graduate level courses, with one overall course director and several lecturers who are experts in the material being presented. There are no exams and grades are not given for either of the courses. During the last week of the summer program, Summer Research Associates submit a brief paper detailing their research activities and give a fifteen minute oral presentation to the Department.