UC's College of Medicine Awarded Science Education Funding


UC College of Medicine

recently was awarded a grant of $337,768 from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to support its science enrichment programs.  UC was one of only 19 institutions selected for the prestigious grant from a pool of 115 applicants and has been a recipient of HHMI Precollege Program funding since 1994.  This grant will fund the ExSEL (Excellence in Science Education and Learning) program, Saturday Science Academy, and Teachers' Initiative:  Program in Biomedical Research.

"We're very honored to have received this funding," said Bobbi Handwerger, director of Recruitment Programming for the UC College of Medicine. "It enables us to continue to provide science enrichment programs to students and teachers in the Cincinnati area and to encourage students to consider careers in science."

ExSEL, a basic science research summer program held at the UC College of Medicine, is designed for 20 talented and gifted high school seniors and recent high school graduates interested in pursuing careers in medicine or biomedical science.  The program lasts five weeks and students from all Cincinnati area high schools are encouraged to apply.

ExSEL provides in-depth enrichment in cell biology, molecular genetics, structural biology, immunology, and neuroscience. The Saturday Science Academy is a year-round science enrichment program also held at the UC College of Medicine for 30 Cincinnati Public School 7th and 8th graders and their parents/guardians.  At each of the 13 Saturday morning sessions students are exposed to hands-on biomedical and biological science in a medical microbiology lab and classroom. The academy stresses the variety of science and its relevance to everyday life while promoting critical thinking and problem solving skills.

The Teachers' Initiative provides a summer laboratory research experience to six middle and high school science teachers in the Cincinnati area. The teachers work in cutting edge research laboratories at the UC College of Medicine and gain scientific knowledge that can be transferred to their school laboratories and implemented in their lesson plans. The goal of the eight-week workshop is to establish year round links among science teachers, secondary school students, and biomedical researchers.

These three programs are integral components of more than 25 pipeline programs offered at UC's College of Medicine where more than 1,000 students, teachers, family members, and members of the Cincinnati community participate in on-campus activities each year. Only the Saturday Science Academy and Teachers' Initiative programs received funding the first year UC was awarded a grant of $175,000 in 1994, and ExSEL was added when the university was presented with a grant of $300,000 in 1999. This year's grant marks the third of its kind awarded to the university from HHMI.

HHMI has committed almost $79 million through the Precollege Program through this round of grants. The grants ranged from $337,768 to $539,970 with an additional $422,930 set aside for an HHMI conducted evaluation to assess the productivity of the programs.

HHMI is a medical research organization dedicated to fostering biomedical research and science education. HHMI employs more than 300 investigators who head research groups at 70 universities across the United States. Its programs enhance the vigor of biomedical research worldwide and support science education at all levels.

For more information about any of the HHMI-funded programs and additional science enrichment programs at the UC College of Medicine, please call Ms. Handwerger at (513) 558-7212.  For more information about the HHMI grants, visit the HHMI Web site at



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