University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)

Education and Training

For High School Students and Undergraduates

UPCI Academy

The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) Academy provides rising high school seniors with eight weeks of research-focused didactic and experiential learning at seven locations. During this time, scholars will work on their own research project in a dedicated research mentor's laboratory. At the end of the program, scholars will be asked to present their projects as an oral presentation and in a poster session. Participating scholars will also learn important skills to help prepare them for success in college and in their future careers in science and medicine.

The mission of this program is to encourage and prepare high school students to further their studies in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects; consider careers in cancer research; instill knowledge of cancer biology and clinical care; and develop strong research and communication skills.

The Academy offers seven different but complementary and interacting programs: Cancer Biology (CB), Women's Cancer Research Center (WCRC), Tumor Immunology (TI), Drug Discovery, Systems and Computational Biology (DiSCoBio), Computer Science, Biology, and Biomedical Informatics (CoSBBI), Center for Integrated Oncology-Cologne/Bonn Academy (CIO) and the newly instituted Cancer Environment, Bioengineering, Imaging and Genetics (CEBIG).

Since 2009, the program has been federally funded by the National Cancer Institute CURE Program and received a three-year grant from the Doris Duke Foundation, allowing us to expand research opportunities to an impressive 45 scholars in 2014. Through continued collaborations with Pittsburgh Public Schools, Bayer Material Sciences, as well as partnerships with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Nazarbayev University, and the University's Offices of Health Sciences Diversity and Science Education Outreach, the 6th Annual UPCI Academy was successfully completed on August 8, 2014.

Learn more about the UPCI Academy.

Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Educational Programs

The University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) strives to develop, nurture, and support a cadre of clinical and translational scientists through its education and training programs for students and researchers of all levels. For high school students, CTSI educational programming is facilitated, principally, through CTSI's Pitt Mobile Science Lab, a 70-foot tractor trailer equipped with 26 workstations and customized scientific equipment that offers novel, hands-on, educational programs, including “Examining Biological Systems,” “Human Genetics,” and “Moving Molecules,” among others. The CTSI also offers many classes and other training research opportunities, as described on their website.

Doris Duke Foundation Academy for Clinical Research

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

Learn more about the Doris Duke Foundation Academy.

Medical Explorers for Minority High School Students (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine)

Medical Explorers is a school-year program for Pittsburgh-area high school students. The group meets weekly, examining a (student-selected) different topic each semester. Students attend lectures from minority physicians, meet and interact with minority medical students, shadow physicians, and participate in laboratory experiences such as clinical pathology conferences. Supplemental activities such as CPR certification and study skills instruction are available.

For more information, email or write The Office of Student Affairs/Diversity Programs:

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Office of Student Affairs/Diversity Programs
532 Scaife Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-648-8987
Email: diversityaffairs@medschool.pitt.edu

Summer Premedical Academic Enrichment Program (SPAEP) (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine)

The Summer Premedical Academic Enrichment Program (SPAEP) is open to minority high school graduates and college students and is designed specifically to prepare and support students who wish to pursue careers in medicine.

Learn more about the SPAEP.

Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)

The University of Pittsburgh Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) provides stimulating and rewarding research opportunities for undergraduates considering graduate education in biomedical research. The program is administered by the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Graduate Program (IBGP) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Over 100 faculty scientists from the following programs are participating in SURP:

Learn more about SURP.

Volunteer in a Research Laboratory

Opportunities are available for laboratory research volunteers to assist UPCI researchers with a variety of tasks. This program requires a minimum of ten hours of service a week during normal business hours. Learn more.