BLaST-sponsored Biomedical Research Course with Rural Alaska Honors Institute at UAF

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Contact Info: aktopkok@alaska.edu

By Amy Topkok

BLaST collaborated with Rural Alaska Honors Institute (RAHI) through the course “RAHI Research,” a four-credit introduction to biomedical research. The course was held from May 31 to July 10, 2018, and involved six undergraduates from the competitive six-week summer college program for rural and Alaska Native students. BLaST Research Advising and Mentoring Professionals (RAMPs) staff Emily Sousa, Theresa Vertigan and Lori Gildehaus, and UAF psychology faculty member, Ellen Lopez, M.P.H., Ph.D, offered the introduction course to include a mixed-methods approach to biomedical learning through lectures and lab time.

RAHI’s proven record shows that these students are ready for the challenge of succeeding in college. The undergraduates learned and practiced common lab techniques under three different research projects offered by BLaST Graduate Mentoring Research Assistants (GMRAs). The research offered in the course ranged from studying the trematode, a flatworm that causes Swimmer’s itch, to learning about Steller sea lions and oxidative stress responses, to surveying available resources for postpartum depression.

Six undergraduates from all over Alaska learned to conduct research in biomedical fields through the RAHI Research four-credit course at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and taught by Ellen Lopez, M.P.H., Ph.D., (fourth from left) and BLaST Research Advising and Mentoring Professional (RAMP) Lori Gildehaus (to the left of Dr. Lopez) May 31 to July 3, 2018.

The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.