Title of a News Article: Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences Summer Scholars Program Graduates a New Cohort of Diverse Students
The Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences Summer Scholars Program (SSP) at McMaster University has successfully graduated its second cohort of students. The program, which aims to promote diversity in STEM research, funded a group of students who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or 2SLGBTQIA+ to conduct research over the summer. Supported by the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR) and the Global Nexus School for Pandemic Prevention and Response, the program provided intensive research skills training and a 10-week lab placement.
The students in this year’s cohort worked on various biomedical topics, including cancer therapeutics, biophysics, and medicinal chemistry. Importantly, they also tackled research questions related to pressing public health concerns, such as COVID-19 and Alzheimer’s disease. Caitlin Mullarkey, Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences and Chair of the SSP, expressed her admiration for the scholars and their contributions to the labs. She noted their growth and development over the 12-week program and expressed confidence in their future scientific careers.
The new cohort recently presented their work at the SSP’s annual capstone research symposium. Several students shared their experiences in the program. Miracle Effiong, a biomedical/medical engineering student, described the opportunity as both exciting and daunting but ultimately rewarding. Tegvir Grewal found the experience unforgettable and unparalleled, highlighting the humanity and compassion present in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences. Georgia Campbell, a student in McMaster’s Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences program, called the program an extraordinary experience that allowed her to build confidence and skills. Elisabeth Jonah, a psychology, neuroscience, and behavior student, appreciated the inside view into the world of research and its impact on her future aspirations. Kylie Meyerman, a health sciences student, emphasized the support system, professional network, and thrilling research opportunities provided by the SSP. Tyler Carmona, a biochemistry student, expressed gratitude for the program and the sense of community it fostered. Nikina Bear-Lowen, a student in the University of Guelph’s bachelor of science program, saw the SSP as a career path discovery and hopes to inspire other Indigenous youth with her experience. Emma Robertson, a third-year Bachelor of Health Sciences student, gained fundamental lab skills and newfound confidence through her research.
The Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences Summer Scholars Program continues to make strides in promoting diversity and fostering the growth of talented students in STEM research.