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  • Base Pair Mentorship Program

    "Base Bair" refers to the complementary bases of the DNA helix whose close pairings form the structure of the moloecule from which all life begins. In the same way, the eponymous mentorship program "pairs" Jackson Public School students from Murrah High School with practicing scientists at UMMC.

    Murrah High juniors and seniors are selected for their interest and aptitude in science. Each student is paired with a UMMC scientist who acts as a mentor to that student. Mentors are all scientists of the first rank who do original research and publish regularly in scholarly journals. The number of participating students averages 15 students annually.

    The first semester of the program begins at Murrah where a lead teacher prepares students for the second semester when students spend the last period of each school day working individually in their mentor's laboratory.

    The students learn laboratory skills, scientific documentation and presentation. Each student will make a presentation on their research  and experiences to "colleagues" at UMMC at semester's end. The mentors also encourage students to present/publish their work in formal scientific settings. Base Pair students (blue line on the graph) have authored more than 350 scientific works since the program began.

    Base Pair Student Citations Graph.jpg

    Students receive graduation credit for Base Pair participation while they get a real taste of the life of the scientist. Base Pair encourages the pursuit of science careers by demonstrating the challenge and intellectual excitement of biomedical science. Even if students don't pursue careers in science, they are given a new appreciation of how science affects the daily lives of everyone.

    For more information

    • Dr. Rob Rockhold, PhD 
      Deputy Chief Academic Officer
      University of Mississippi Medical Center
      2500 N. State St.
      Jackson, MS 39216-4505
      Phone:(601) 984-2810