University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)

Overview

The Doris Duke Foundation Academy for Clinical Research (DDF-ACR) integrates five established summer high school programs at the University of Pittsburgh (UP). It is one of nine sites in the country funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation that provides unique opportunities for high school students from underrepresented minority and disadvantaged (URM/DA) backgrounds, by immersing them directly into mentored, clinical research activities.

The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Academy was instituted in partnership with the DDF-ACR to encourage students’ interest in cancer careers, instill knowledge of cancer biology and clinical care, and develop their research and communication skills.

During their experience, students will be provided a stipend and be associated with one of the five established programs. In this environment, they will work directly with researchers in clinical research training programs to develop, nurture, and support their interest and aptitude in pursuing a career in clinical research.

The University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences have developed expanded clinical research opportunities in conjunction with our Institute for Clinical Research Education (ICRE), the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the Doris Duke Foundation Medical Student Program, and the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP).

CHERP is a national Center of Excellence based at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and the University of Pennsylvania. It promotes equity and quality in health and health care among veterans, particularly those at risk of disparities. In Pittsburgh, CHERP employs 25 core investigators from a variety of clinical specialties (general internal medicine, nephrology, psychiatry, pulmonary medicine, rheumatology, womens health, nursing, and pharmacy) and academic disciplines (psychology, communication, sociology, health services research, and biostatistics).

At DDF-ACR, we will provide URM-DA high school students with didactic and practical exposure to the fields of clinical health services in an environment that is strongly committed to understanding and eliminating disparities in health and health care.