BREP-News and Events

Biomedical Research Education
Program of Puerto Rico

1st BREP Summer Intership
Back from left: José Urbina, José J. Rosario, Christopher Villafaņe, Wilson Castellano, Juan L. Vega,
Front from left: Katryna Matos, MIldred K. Rodríguez, Lizmar Vega, Diana C. Moni, Erica Vázquez,
and Ms. Elisa Rodríguez, BREP Administrator

First Summer Internship Program sponsored by the Biomedical Research Education Program

The BREP program conducted its first Summer Internship Program during June 19-26, 2003. Nine students and one teacher, from two different high schools, participated in the program which included visits to the research facilities supported by the RCMI Program at the UPR Medical Sciences Campus. The two-week activity included an overview of the six schools that comprised the Medical Sciences Campus and general information on the biomedical careers offered at each school. Through special activities the students were able to learn about the importance of observation when applying the scientific method, the leading causes of death in Puerto Rico and the effects of alcohol on mental judgment.

Facilities Visit
Visit to different facilities

The highlight of the program was the visit of the students to six different research facilities. Prior to the visit a mentor (an investigator, graduate student or technical specialist) provided details on the technology available in the facility. The mentors also discussed with the students the research being conducted utilizing the particular state-of-the-art instrumentation in their facility. The facilities visited by the students were: the Central Electron Microscopy Unit, the Flow Cytometry Laboratory, the Image Analysis Resource Center, the Laboratory of AIDS and Infectious Diseases, the Center for Information Architecture in Research, and the Molecular Genetics Core Facility. Through the presentations and discussions of the on-going research studies, the students were able to learn basic information on diseases that affect the Puerto Rican population, such as diabetes, AIDS, neurological disorders, dengue fever, and genetic blood diseases. A formal evaluation of the impact of the activities on student interest and knowledge of biomedical research is in progress.

BREP Students with Dr. José R. Carlo, Chancellor of the Medical Sciences Campus
BREP Students with Dr. José R. Carlo, Chancellor of the Medical Sciences Campus

The Internship concluded with an informal presentation by the students and the distribution of certificates acknowledging their participation in the first BREP Summer Internship Program. On his remarks, Dr. Jose R. Carlo, Chancellor of the Medical Sciences Campus, emphasized to the students the need for Puerto Rican scientists, especially in the biomedical sciences.

BREP Students at final day
Back from left:Emma Fernández-Repollet, BREP Director, Juan L. Vega, teacher, Diana C. Moni, Erica Vázquez, Lizmar Vega, Katryna Matos, Mildred K. Rodríguez, Iris Hernández, teacher, Elisa Rodríguez, Adm BREP. Front from left: Wilson Castellanos, José J. Rosario, Carmen Fernández, teacher, José Urbina, and Christopher Villafaņe

We thank the students for their outstanding participation; the teachers for their support and efforts, and the group of volunteer mentors for sharing with the students their expertise and enthusiasm for biomedical research. We look forward to their participation in next year's BREP Summer Internship Program.

Contact Information:

Emma Fernandez-Repollet, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

Telephone: (787) 763-9401
Fax: (787) 758-5206

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