11 months ago

2007 Annual Report

  • Text
  • Andel
  • Institute
  • Michigan
  • Scientific
  • Laboratory
  • Vari
  • Rapids
  • Investigator
  • Biology
  • Protein
  • Annual

Training Programs

Training Programs Through VARI training programs, students learn what a career in science involves by working in the laboratory, and postdoctoral fellows gain critical work experience before moving on to laboratories of their own. All further VARI projects through their work conducted under the mentorship of VARI scientific investigators. Postdoctoral Fellowships Internships Scientists beginning their research careers after graduate school advance their knowledge and research experience as postdoctoral fellows, working on VARI projects under the mentorship of a scientific investigator. They also attend seminars, interact with graduate students studying at VARI, participate in outreach programs, and attend social events through the Office of Postdoctoral Fellows. College and university students work in VARI labs and help to define their career paths through internships, including those that are a part of the Frederik and Lena Meijer Student Internship Program. Through this program, students are mentored by professionals in their chosen research field during an intense 10-week experience. “I’ve never regretted choosing VARI over a fellowship at Harvard—the smaller size, top-of-the-line equipment and facilities, principal investigators that are accessible, energetic and passionate about their research, and the affordable, family-friendly location have all made for a great experience.” —Postdoctoral Fellow Jenn White, Ph.D. “You learn current research methods and technologies, but also how to design experiments and communicate results. There is great training on presentation skills and communicating and collaborating with other researchers.” —University of Michigan student Theresa Gipson Van Andel Research Institute

VAI-MSU Graduate Program Bridges to the Baccalaureate The VAI-MSU Graduate School Program allows students in one of five Michigan State University graduate programs to conduct one of their laboratory “rotations” at VARI and then complete their thesis project at the Institute if they choose. Program participants conduct research, have access to the latest technologies in the VARI core facilities, participate in VARI journal clubs, and attend seminars, lab meetings, retreats and conferences. “The open lab space and interaction between scientists has definitely been the best part. The whole glass roof thing also adds to my productivity; I love the sun. Some of us spend more time at the Institute than at home, and the great people, great facility, and great research makes us more willing to do that.” —Michigan State University student Sebla Kutluay The Bridges program provides support to minorities who are under-represented in medical research and who attend Grand Rapids Community College. Students are eligible to present their research findings at the NIH Minority Symposium held annually in the fall. Participants are helped to graduate to the baccalaureate level and are simultaneously dual-enrolled at Grand Valley State University. “The opportunity to work with many talented scientists and the research experience have proven to be the most rewarding experiences for me as a Bridges student.” —Grand Rapids Community College student Sergio Rodriguez GRAPCEP The Grand Rapids Area Pre-College Engineering Program (GRAPCEP) is administered by Davenport University and jointly sponsored and funded by Schering Plough and VARI. The program provides high school students who plan to major in science or genetic engineering in college the opportunity to work in a research laboratory. Students learn research methods and workplace success skills such as teamwork and leadership. VARI Training Programs 19

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