The focal point of the program is a 10-week summer research program on the Stony Brook campus, where students experience living, learning, and working at a world class research institution. They attend lectures by faculty on their current research, participate in journal clubs led by graduate students, and visit both research core facilities and clinical laboratories. However, the key to the program is the demanding and intensive research experience.
INDUCER participants will spend the first 2 weeks learning basic techniques in molecular biology, such as restriction enzyme digests, agarose and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, Southern and Western blotting, DNA ligation, bacterial transformation, screening and identification of bacteria, polymerase chain reaction, and protein purification. During this time, the participants will also meet with research faculty (preparation for entrance into the mentor’s laboratory), attend research seminars, perform library searches using Pubmed and learn to use biological databases (such as Genbank and Swiss-Prot) and bioinformatics tools. After the two week period, students will enter the laboratory of their research mentor. Students will remain, full time, within this laboratory for 8 weeks. Each Friday students will attend a laboratory meeting where they present progress in the form of Powerpoint presentations and obtain critiques of their work from both students and faculty. These sessions are initially difficult for most students, but later most come to appreciate the value of public speaking, presenting their data, teamwork, and learning from others. After the 10 week program, the successful mentor/mentee pairing will continue conducting research throughout the academic year (10-15 hours a week per university guidelines). During the academic semester, the participants will meet monthly with the PI and co-PI to discuss problems and successes, deal with issues on classroom learning and campus climate. It is also at this time that invited speakers are introduced to the participants for support. In the ensuing summer, participants will be compensated for working full time (10 weeks) in their mentor’s laboratory. Most of these students would otherwise require a nonrelated job for monetary support. This cycle will continue into the participant’s senior year. Each summer 6 new participants will be recruited and follow the path outlined above. The participants are expected to conduct cutting edge research and we will fund their mentored research accordingly. We anticipate at least one publication in a high impact journal from each participant.