Grants propel the Trudeau Institute education program

Kailey Kipping, left, and Anna Dumas participated in Trudeau Institute’s 2023 Summer Undergraduate Research Program. (Photo provided)

SARANAC LAKE — A $100,000 grant from Hearst Foundations is providing undergraduate students the opportunity to work with Trudeau Institute mentors while burnishing their prospects for graduate training programs and research positions.

Casella Waste and Stewarts Shops also provided grants to Trudeau Institute’s 10-week Summer Undergraduate Research Program, continuing their past support to a program that has provided many college students with their first experience in a biomedical research lab. The grants support the program through 2024.

Students from institutions such as Clarkson University, Northwestern University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Stony Brook University and the University of Arizona have participated in SURP in the past. Participants work closely with Trudeau principal investigators on real-world challenges such as tuberculosis, SARS-CoV-2, Zika and other infectious disease threats.

The program introduces students to scientific methods, proper lab techniques, and research ethics. In addition, they have the chance to meet researchers from universities, pharmaceutical companies and global health organizations affiliated with Trudeau Institute.

“Several of our SURP alums have gone on to pursue their own doctorates and careers in infectious disease research,” said Dr. Deb Brown, a Trudeau principal investigator who leads the program. “In some cases, the students in this program get their first taste of hands-on biomedical research in our labs. We’re grateful for the chance to expose even more students to this work.”

Two students attended the program in 2023: Kailey Kipping, of Saranac Lake, and Anna Dumas, of Burke. Kipping, a rising junior in the clinical laboratory sciences program at SUNY Stony Brook, worked with Brown to study the role of adjuvants in influenza vaccines. Dumas, a Siena College graduate who worked with Brown and Derek Bernacki on a collaborative project. Dumas entered the master’s program in biostatistics at Harvard School of Public Health this fall.

Brown said the program encourages applications from students who are members of groups underrepresented in the sciences or are the first in their families to go to college. The program also seeks to attract students from rural and inner-city communities or those who have grown up with financial or other disadvantages. Most students in the program have completed their sophomore or junior years.

The program culminates with a 20-minute oral seminar, presenting to Trudeau scientists and staff about their research. In addition, at least one student is selected to make a poster presentation at the Upstate New York Immunology Conference. This event, organized by the Albany Medical College, provides an opportunity for members of the Upstate New York immunology community to present and discuss their research, exchange ideas and develop collaborations.

Starting at $1.44/week.

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