IMPaCT Investigator Highlights (Text Version) - Dr. David M. Lubaroff and Kaylene Baugh
Title: Undergraduate Program in Prostate Cancer Research and Training
David M. Lubaroff, PhD, University of Iowa: This award mechanism is an Undergraduate HBCU Summer Research Training Program. The training grant as devised by the CDMRP was to increase the number of underserved minority students to train in and then advance into doing prostate cancer research as their career. We partnered, the University of Iowa partners with Lincoln University of Pennsylvania to bring students in for summer research internships. And we have done this for five years we're getting ready for our sixth summer and we've had 34 students come in and spend time in the various laboratories at the University of Iowa doing prostate cancer research.
Kaylene Baugh, Lincoln University: The purpose of this training grant is to of course give students exposure into a field of research. I've actually been to Iowa twice; that's how great the program has been and it trains our students to be successful, like it sends us on to gaining a lot of knowledge, knowing how to bridge the gap between what you've learned in the classroom and the laboratory and it has definitely been a wonderful experience for almost everybody in the program that--that have done it so far.
Lubaroff: Well Kaylene worked with me doing a phase two clinical trial of a vaccine for the treatment of prostate cancer. We've taken the gene for prostate specific antigen and inserted it into a virus that we use as a vaccine. Her part of the project was to work with our nurse practitioner during the times that the patients that are in the trial come in for their vaccination or they come in for follow-up injections. She has also observed our research assistant and how he does the immunologic assays for any responses by the patient as a consequence of his vaccination. So she had a kind of a multi-faceted experience both in the urology clinic, and in the laboratory.
Baugh: Oh I've learned a whole lot in this process, not only how to treat your patients, but also of quite a vast amount of knowledge about prostate cancer, how it affects our society today, different races that it affects, and how well we could treat our patients with prostate cancer.
Lubaroff: The PCRP was very innovative in developing this grant project to fund universities to partner with HBCU institutions and bring young Undergraduate students to expose them to research. Many people don't know much about research when they are going through high school or even undergraduate school. When they think of medical science they think of medical school and this gives them the opportunity either to reinforce that wish to go to medical school, or be exposed to research and find out that they may want to do that. We've had multiple students who have, once they're exposed to research, have gone onto a research track through graduate school.
Lubaroff: The PCRP is making a very concerted effort to increase the number of young people, and the number of minority young people, to get involved in prostate cancer research and we've seen it already; we've seen the students from our first and second years of the program in Graduate School, some of whom are ready to finish or go to medical school and know that they're going to take that next step and increase the number of people in prostate cancer research.
Baugh: I want to open my own clinic in Jamaica. I'm an international student, so I want to go back, open my own clinic to help people with health disparities, but as for prostate cancer I actually want to further my knowledge and research in prostate cancer later with my doctoral degree.
Lubaroff: If you are serious about your career in science and you are interested either in prostate cancer or knowing more about prostate cancer and the research that goes into it by all means talk to somebody at your institution and find a program like this whether it be at the University of Iowa or another partnering institution in this program just to take advantage of it, at least spend one summer exposing yourself to this opportunity and then you can make an informed decision.