City of Hope’s summer student program has propelled high school and college students on to careers in science and medicine for more than three decades, and now a financial boost from its namesake supporters will further aid the program’s mission.
Founded in 1975 by Eugene Roberts, Ph.D., director emeritus of neurobiochemistry, the Eugene and Ruth Roberts Summer Student Academy gives about 50 students valuable, hands-on laboratory experience each year.
|Paul Salvaterra, right, thanks Eugene and Ruth Roberts for their gift supporting the summer student program. (Photo by p.cunningham)|
Students spend 10 weeks of their summer with a City of Hope faculty mentor conducting research on a project of their choosing. They also attend weekly seminars, where they present research findings to their peers, as well as workshops on topics ranging from creating posters for research presentations to biomedical ethics.
“Our goal is to give these students a wellrounded and realistic experience — a preview of what they will encounter as graduate students and postdoctoral fellows,” said Paul Salvaterra, Ph.D., who has headed the program for nearly 30 years.
The academy culminates in a poster session in which students present their projects to City of Hope faculty and staff. This year’s session on Aug. 6 was marked by a special presentation from Eugene and Ruth Roberts: The couple donated $100,000 in support of the academy to mark 100 years in combined service to City of Hope. The gift matched another the couple gave in 2006, the year the program was renamed for them.
“We feel very blessed with the support given us over the years by City of Hope,” said Ruth Roberts, “and it’s a privilege to be able to give back to this program that is so near and dear to our hearts.” She then presented the gift to program coordinators Salvaterra, Steven Novak, Ph.D., and Dawn Eastmond, Ph.D.
|Vaibhav Konanur presents his research findings at the program’s poster session. (Photo by p.cunningham)|
Alexandra Levine, M.D., chief medical officer at City of Hope, praised the couple and the summer student academy, telling the attending students, “This program and these scientists will change your life.”
Levine, herself a renowned researcher, physician and expert in HIV and lymphoma, was one of the first students to attend the program. Her mentor was Eugene Roberts.
For more information about the Eugene and Ruth Roberts Summer Student Academy, please see the program’s Web site at www.cityofhope.org/summeracademy or contact Eastmond at ext. 63899 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.