Moffitt Cancer Center’s Summer Program for the Advancement of Research Knowledge (SPARK) is helping to stimulate and strengthen medical innovation by preparing student interns for career growth in cancer research and biomedical science.
"The mission of Moffitt Cancer Center
is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer, so one important way to do that is education and training of researchers," says Dr. Doug Cress, SPARK program director.
Through a 10-week intensive research training program, SPARK
allows experienced undergraduate students having a career interest in biomedical science or fields related to cancer research an opportunity to significantly dive into specialized research areas via a variety of programs, including cancer biology and evolution, cancer epidemiology, chemical biology and molecular medicine, health outcomes and behavior, and immunology.
With such an in-depth and expansive field as cancer research, students are able to explore their interests in policy, scientific writing, psychology, laboratory experimentation, and more.
"Every student has a different experience at Moffitt. It depends on what they are interested in," says Cress.
To help guide the creative process, students are assigned a mentor within a particular research group and define goals with which to make an impact over the 10 weeks.
The idea is to increase the students’ knowledge base while providing training and instruction on methodologies, processes, and intricacies critical to the development of cancer research.
The internship program is among key opportunities in medical research and development available in the Tampa Bay region’s growing healthcare provider industry.
"Moffitt as a business is a huge contributor to the economy in the area. You can’t necessarily bring all the talent from the outside. The more talent you train from the inside, the better your perspective is. We hope to be able to bring the interns that we train back into Moffitt as they become independent researchers and independent physicians that contribute to our mission," says Cress.
Moffit is accepting applications through February 15 for participation in SPARK. The program is free to participants, and a taxable stipend is provided.
Selection into the program is based upon relevant experience, a written essay and academic performance as well as recommendations from teachers or faculty.
Selected students must commit to a 40-hours-per-week schedule, which may be completed during any 10 weeks between May 1 and August 31.
For more information on SPARK, visit the program online
Writer: Kaye Brown
Source: Dr. Doug Cress, Moffitt Cancer Center & SPARK