Cedars-Sinai Hosts Student Research Session

Shiyun Ahn, left, and Jeffrey Lam from Long Beach Polytechnic High School present their student research project in Harvey Morse Auditorium. Their mentor was Cedars-Sinai scientist Ravinder Abrol, PhD.

Long Beach Polytechnic High School students showcased their biomedical research projects Feb. 24 in a presentation hosted by Cedars-Sinai in the Harvey Morse Auditorium.

The students were graduates of a biomedical research course offered each year in conjunction with the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), which includes Cedars-Sinai and three other area institutions. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the course aims to encourage young, aspiring scientists to consider medical research as a career.

This year, four researchers from Cedars-Sinai were among 11 mentors who met weekly with 18 seniors from the Long Beach Poly PACE, a magnet program for gifted students, to help them learn about research protocol in a hands-on environment. The other mentors were researchers from UCLA and the Los Angeles Biomedical Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Students Lisa Anderson, left, and Cassandra Bautista were mentored by Puja K. Mehta, MD, FACC, and Chrisandra Shufelt, MD, MS, from the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.

According to Leslie Raffel, MD, professor of Pediatrics and the Cedars-Sinai site director for the CTSI: "We have been so fortunate to host students here at Cedars-Sinai for 15 years now. Some of the students have continued working with their mentors, and many of them go on to be involved in research in college and in their careers. This program is a wonderful opportunity for Cedars-Sinai faculty to introduce young people to the excitement of a career in biomedical research."

The Cedars-Sinai mentors this year were: Chrisandra Shufelt, MD, MS, associate director of the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, director of the Women's Hormone and Menopause Program and assistant professor of Medicine; Puja K. Mehta, MD, FACC, director of the Non-invasive Vascular Function Research Laboratory in the Heart Center and assistant professor of Medicine; Bernice L. Coleman, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN, research scientist and nurse practitioner at the Heart Institute; and Ravinder Abrol, PhD, research scientist in Gastroenterology and Cancer Biology and Therapeutics.

Since its inception in 2000, the biomedical research course has been completed by 201 students doing work in a wide array of disciplines. Faculty members interested in mentoring students next year are encouraged to contact Arlene Verne, RN, at arlene.verne@cshs.org.