HHMI funds youth science programs

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has awarded the School of Medicine $750,000 over five years to increase youth interest in science.

The grant will create the school's first coordinated precollege science education program by tying together three existing outreach programs: the Stanford Medical Youth Science Program, the Center for Clinical Immunology's summer research internship program and the genetics department's "Stanford at the Tech" program.

The collaboration gives disadvantaged high school students the chance to spend consecutive summers learning about medicine. Twenty-four first-year participants will spend five weeks shadowing physicians, attending career development lectures and interning at hospitals through the youth science program directed by professor of medicine Marilyn Winkleby, PhD. Returning students will conduct eight weeks of hypothesis-driven research with immunology graduate students under associate professor of medicine P.J. Utz, MD, director of the immunology center's internship program.

High school student recruitment for the programs will continue at the San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation, where graduate and postdoctoral students guide teenagers and adults through hands-on genetics activities, under the direction of Barry Starr, PhD, the Tech's genetics liaison to Stanford, and Richard Myers, PhD, professor of genetics. Parvati Dev, PhD, director of Stanford University Medical Media and Information Technologies, will network the programs' curricula online for science educators nationwide.