Undergrad Summer Education Programs Score with Another Successful Summer

2023 CanSUR students posing for a picture on the steps in front of the Wolstein Research Building

TikToks, apparel design, and science do mix—as the 39 scholars participating in this year's Cancer-focused Summer Undergraduate Research (CanSUR) and the American Cancer Society's Diversity in Cancer Research (ACS-DICR) programs can attest.

The programs are directed, respectively, by Mark Jackson, PhD, Case CCC's Associate Director for Cancer Training and Education, and Ruth Keri, PhD, Case CCC's Director for Basic Research. This year, CanSUR attracted 320 applications from 139 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Puerto Rico to fill 32 spots. In addition, another seven students were selected to participate jointly in Keri's ACS-DICR program. The students spent the summer working alongside established researchers in Case CCC labs.

ACS-DICR Act Now Live Longer logo

For 10 weeks, from June through August, mentors and junior mentors from various research programs across Case CCC gave their time and expertise to help these scholars contribute to lab activities. Additionally, the ACS-DICR students designed a logo for T-shirts imploring people to "Act Now, Live Longer" and conducted "person-on-the-street" interviews asking about their knowledge of cancers that will become a short education video for ACS. The CanSUR students competed in a TikTok contest that proved that students became as proficient in laboratory technology as they are in social media technology.

The CanSUR program is sustained by the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Research Education Grants Program, also known as the R25 mechanism, which supports educational activities to enhance the training of the nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce. Applications for 2024 programs will open in November.