University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute International Academy Scholars Present Projects
Fifty-six students from around the world participated as scholars in this summer’s University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) International Academy, a program designed to let students work directly with researchers in basic, translational, and clinical research experiential programs to develop, nurture, and support their interest and aptitude in pursuing careers in biomedicine and cancer. On the final day of the program, students presented findings about the work they did this summer.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Michael Lotze, MD, UPCI International Academy Program director, as well as other UPCI faculty, staff, and academy scholars participated with the presenting students.
The UPCI International Academy is designed to give students real-world experience in working alongside scientists and cancer clinicians. The goal of the program is to teach students the scientific hallmarks of cancer, helping them learn how to speak the language of science, and promoting science as a performing art.
The program began 5 years ago with 5 participants and has grown this summer to 56 scholars. For the first time in the program, international students also were admitted, including several from Kazakhstan and Germany. Although half hale from the greater Pittsburgh area, many of them are from groups previously under-represented in the biomedical sciences as well as scholars from Hawaii, Minnesota, Vermont, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia, and Maryland.
The students spent the summer working in one of five locations. These included:
- Hillman Cancer Center (cancer biology)
- Women’s Cancer Research Center at Magee-Womens Research Institute (women’s cancers)
- Starzl Biomedical Science Tower (tumor immunology)
- Biomedical Science Tower III (drug discovery, systems, and computational biology)
- Offices at Baum (computer sciences, biological sciences, and biomedical informatics).
Illustration: University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.