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January 1, 2016
Vol. LXVIII, No. 1

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Students Visit NIH to Explore Science Careers

Fifteen students supported by the NIGMS Institutional Development Award (IDeA) and Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH) programs recently took part in a week-long enrichment opportunity at NIH. The program, now in its third year, was developed by NIGMS and the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE) to expose American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students to biomedical research and related careers.

The IDeA program builds research capacity in states that historically have had low levels of NIH funding by supporting basic, clinical and translational research, faculty development and infrastructure improvements.

Visiting students are shown with Dr. Sheila Caldwell of NIGMS (front l), who oversees the NARCH program, OITE director Dr. Sharon Milgram (front, third from l) and OITE coordinator Dr. Erika Barr (front r).
Visiting students are shown with Dr. Sheila Caldwell of NIGMS (front l), who oversees the NARCH program, OITE director Dr. Sharon Milgram (front, third from l) and OITE coordinator Dr. Erika Barr (front r).

NARCH supports research, research training and faculty and infrastructure development through partnerships between American Indian/Alaska Native tribes or tribally based organizations and research-intensive academic institutions.

The students, who ranged from undergraduate to graduate level, came from all over the country to participate in science career workshops, networking seminars and hands-on lab activities.

Jody Shimabukuro, a graduate student at Hawaii Pacific University, said she was inspired by her meetings with NIH staff.

“Not only have I grown professionally and personally, but this visit has solidified my commitment to science,” she said. “I’m already thinking of coming back to NIH for an internship.”—Chidinma Okparanta

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