STAR U Pipeline Program Welcomes Students This Summer

The newest pipeline program to encourage underrepresented minorities to pursue medical and scientific research careers will focus on neuroscience and aging. 

Summer of Translational Aging Research for Undergraduates (STAR U), a competitive program hosted by the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain, will offer undergraduate college students eight weeks of training that will expose them to research experience in neuroscience and aging, mentorship, and professional development opportunities.The program is funded by a grant from the National Institute on Aging. Students selected to participate will receive housing, transportation, and a stipend during their stay at Columbia. 

The summer program, which will welcome its first class this summer, aims toincrease diversity in the field of neuroscience and aging and to help students from diverse backgrounds overcome barriers that have prevented them from pursuing careers in aging research. Throughout the program, the students will conduct a research project under the mentorship of a faculty member, participate in scientific seminars and career development activities, and network with scholars and researchers in the field.

The program will culminate with a research symposium in which students will present their summer research projects. The leaders of the program, Adam Brickman, PhD, and Stephanie Cosentino, PhD,associate professors of neuropsychology, hope they will be able to stay in touch with STAR U scholars beyond the eight-week program. “We want to create supportive relationships and lasting mentorships that extend beyond the summer period so we can follow our students through their academic and professional development,” says Dr. Cosentino.