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NIH R25 Grant Expands Summer Internship Program

May 6, 2021

Sunder Sims-Lucas, PhD, assistant professor in the Division of Pediatric Nephrology, and Juan C. Celedón, MD, DrPH, ATSF, professor and chief of the Division of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine, are the recipients of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) R25 grant to expand and diversify the Summer Research Internship Program (SRIP) at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh by summer research experiences to underrepresented minority students in the fields of heart, lung, and blood research.

SRIP is an annual summer internship for undergraduate college students to obtain experience in research laboratories. Participants learn the rationale, design strategies, methods, and other aspects of biomedical research as research interns. Training is provided under the direct supervision of University of Pittsburgh faculty and research personnel within the Department of Pediatrics and several affiliated University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine programs. Weekly career development and research seminars are also offered to participants alongside "rounding" for those interested in clinical medicine.

The training program concludes with a required poster presentation where student interns discuss the results of their research with faculty, physicians, and staff from UPMC Children’s and the Department of Pediatrics.

Drs. Sims-Lucas and Celedón will use this new R25 grant to offer additional paid internship positions specifically to underrepresented minority students to participate in heart, lung, and blood pediatric subspecialties. 

Earlier this year, Dr. Sims-Lucas, along with pediatric nephrology division chief Carlton M. Bates, MD, was awarded another NIH R25 grant to develop an undergraduate training program called “Summer Research Internship Program Kidney Workshop”, or SRIP-Kid, designed to mentor undergraduate students in kidney-based research.

Learn more about SRIP-Kid and the SRIP program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.