As many as 100 high school and college students are being invited to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) on March 26 and 27 for a biomedical mentoring symposium for minority and underserved students. The second annual Dr. M. Alfred Haynes Mentoring and Advising Students for Success (MASS) Symposium is designed to encourage the young people to pursue careers in biomedical sciences, medicine, health professions, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, laboratory work, and various types of research including health disparities, basic, clinical, and translational (bench to bedside to community).
The symposium is being sponsored by the UTHSC Research Center on Health Disparities, Equity and the Exposome; Baylor College of Medicine; and the Intercultural Cancer Council. The theme of the two-day conference is “Minority Students Standing and Delivering: Learning and Achieving.”
All the students attending will be given free registration, and will have the opportunity to participate in small-group mentoring sessions, network with experts in biomedical fields, and present their original ideas and research. Awards will be given to the high school or college of the students who offer the most innovative and creative scientific ideas.
The symposium is set for 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. March 26, and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. March 27 in Freeman Auditorium on the third floor of the UT Hamilton Eye Institute, 930 Madison Avenue.
The research focus for the conference is breast cancer detection, treatment and survivorship. Students will examine the topic from a scientific perspective, looking at all angles including discovery, treatment, implementation of community resources, and health care policy. Community mentors will be paired with academic mentors to work with students to develop ideas. Breast cancer survivors from the area have volunteered to work with students as community mentors. Ideas are expected to range from biomedical research to community-based participatory research.
The conference aims to foster a diverse and capable biomedical and research workforce, and to expose students to the importance of mentors when choosing careers in science and in achieving professional goals and personal success. Additionally, the conference will provide students with an understanding that mentors may come from various fields of study and walks of life.
Among participants from Memphis will be students from Whitehaven High School, Middle College High School, Memphis Health Careers Academy, Southwest Tennessee Community College, LeMoyne-Owen College, and Hollis F. Price Middle College High School. Included in the list of participants coming from other areas will be students from Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, Fisk University in Nashville, and Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee.