Cancer Institute

  • Mississippi Prostate Cancer HBCU Undergraduate Research Training Program

    Undergraduate students participating in the second HBCU Prostate Cancer Research Training Program completed their 10-week summer internship this past week by making presentations at the 2015 Prostate Cancer Research Mini Symposium. The students, from Jackson State University and Tougaloo College, with UMMC representatives, are front, from left, Angel Garcia, Tougaloo; Deion Fields, JSU; Jamal Keyes, JSU; Adesuwa Ekunwe, JSU; and Timera Brown, Tougaloo; back, from left; Dr. Christian Gomez, UMMC cancer researcher, associate professor and HBCU program advisor; Dr. Richard Summers, UMMC associate vice chancellor for research; Dr. Srinivasan Vijayakumar, Cancer Institute director; and Charles Phillips, Tougaloo.

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    Supported by the U.S. Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program

    Our goal is to train undergraduate students from two Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tougaloo College and Jackson State University, so they can gain experience in performing prostate cancer research at the University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute. 

    We hope to create a long-term partnership between Tougaloo, JSU and UMMC-CI that will produce a cadre of top-caliber minority scientists and physicians with a specific interest in prostate cancer research, prevention, diagnosis and care.

    Mississippi has the second highest rate of prostate cancer death in the country and the fourth highest incidence rate. Factors such as increased risk for African-Americans, obesity and medical distrust contribute to high rates of prostate cancer in Mississippi. The scarcity of minority physicians and scientists is a major factor in perpetuating distrust in medicine and science among minority communities. Because of this, it is especially important to increase the number of HBCU scientists and physicians who are trained as prostate cancer researchers.

    The Mississippi Prostate Cancer HBCU Undergraduate Research Training Program provides an excellent opportunity for undergraduate students to gain comprehensive training program in prostate cancer research and care.

    Participants are selected in open competition and must meet the following eligibility requirements:

    • Be a sophomore or junior in the upcoming fall semester.
    • Be majoring in the life sciences (biology, biochemistry, chemistry, biotechnology, etc.).
    • Have successfully completed one semester of math and one year of sciences (biology, chemistry or physics).
    • Have a science grade-point average of 3.0 or higher at the time of submission.
    • Intend to pursue a doctorate after graduation.

    Program extension

    Duration:  May 31-Aug. 5, 2016

        Participants will:      

    • Be awarded faculty-mentored summer research internships supported by the U.S. Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program.
    • Receive a $6,000 stipend.
    • Participate in a 10-week comprehensive training program in prostate cancer research and care.
    • Be assigned to a primary mentor, and will perform hands on prostate cancer research under the direct supervision of a senior student or postdoctoral student.
    • Attend regular hosting lab meetings and weekly one-on-one meetings with their mentors.
    • Attend UMMC-CI's weekly seminar series.
    • Participate in a lecture program including prostate cancer-related lectures.
    • Shadow a physician to expose them to experiences related to prostate cancer clinical practice.
    • Participate in a Prostate Cancer Research Symposium. This activity will include UMMC-CI prostate cancer researchers and invited keynote prostate cancer researchers.
    • Participate in the Discovery U Program, a hub for undergraduate outreach summer activities in biomedical research through the UMMC School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences. Participants will attend seminar series about the research programs at UMMC, postgraduate studies alternatives, graduate school application process, and will be provided opportunities in social settings to improve their networking and communication skills.
    • Prepare a final written report.


    Although housing is not included in the program, help in securing housing for the duration of the program can be provided to participants. 

    Application packet

    The application deadline for the 2016 positions has closed. 

    For more information, contact:

    Our research mentors

    For more information

    Click the links below to find more information.