Office of Educational Affairs

Bridging the Gaps Summer Research Program

Welcome prospective students of Bridging the Gaps Summer Research Program!

We are pleased to have you explore our website as part of your planning process for summer research programs.  We are confident that you will find our program to be a uniquely rewarding experience, offering numerous opportunities for you to enhance your educational pursuits.

As a summer research student, you will be given a true bench-to-bedside experience by being immersed in scientific investigation and allowed limited physician shadowing opportunities.  In addition, you will have the opportunity to meet and interact with directors of the major programs offered at Keck.

Our faculty members are nationally and internationally known, with expertise in numerous disciplines, including metabolic diseases, cancer biology, virology, public health, and genetics. Additionally, the program is structured not only to ensure a rewarding research experience but to foster meaningful relationships with our outstanding faculty. Hence, we also offer program-sponsored social events to further promote relationship building with faculty and to gain exposure to the Los Angeles culture.

This is an exciting time of growth at the Keck Medical School of USC, as we make tremendous strides to increase our minority student population. We have a true commitment to your educational success and are hopeful that you will seriously consider us as you solidify your summer research plans.

Again, welcome! It is with great anticipation and excitement that we look forward to the summer of 2016. If you are interested in our program, please download and submit your application today.


Dr. Joyce M. Richey, Program Director

Assistant Dean, Medical Education 

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The Keck School of Medicine’s Bridging the Gaps Summer Research Program will provide an opportunity to outstanding minority students to gain meaningful exposure to the exceptional research and clinical programs at the Keck School of Medicine. The program's aim is to address the underrepresentation of minority students within medicine and the biological sciences. The ultimate goal is that the majority of these students will want to pursue their medical or graduate studies in the biological sciences at Keck.

The program will serve to bridge gaps in several areas:

    1.    Increase awareness regarding the roles of physician scientists and basic medical scientists.

    2.    Increase the number of underrepresented minorities who are physician scientists and basic medical scientists.

    3.    Increase the number of underrepresented minorities conducting research aimed at reducing health disparities.

    4.    Increase the number of underrepresented minorities interested in pursuing future studies at Keck.

Students will conduct summer research for eight weeks from June 13 through August 5, 2016 in the laboratories of Keck faculty who will serve as mentors. Students will be provided with both a clinical and basic science perspective. Additionally, all students will attend weekly seminars on health disparities and receive formal instruction in basic physiology and biostatistics. At the end of the summer session, students will present their research findings to the Keck community. All participants will receive a stipend, roundtrip transportation from home and university housing.

Download an application for the Summer Research Program. The application deadline is February 12, 2016.

Program Details

In order to be eligible for the program, the candidate must be an underrepresented minority, as designated by the NIH, who has completed the first two years of undergraduate studies at the time of matriculation at a four-year accredited institution.

Selection will be based on the student’s demonstrated academic achievements, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, leadership qualities, required essay and completed application.

  • For the summer session, highly competitive research positions will be available in the following disciplines: Metabolic Diseases (Diabetes and Obesity), Oncology, Cardiovascular, Neuroscience, Immunology, Virology (AIDS), Hematology and Stem Cell Research.
  • All participants will receive a stipend, out of state participates will receive roundtrip transportation from home and university housing.
  • The program will offer a structured curriculum in physiology and biostatistics to increase the ability of students to compete successfully for admission to medical or graduate school.
  • Students will attend seminars that will focus on reducing health disparities and enhancing cultural competence in healthcare.
  • Students will attend workshops on financial aid, understanding the admission process to medical and/or graduate school, test-taking skills, organizational skills, time management and career choices.
  • Summer students will be paired with medical and graduate students who will serve as peer mentors. Student mentors will help organize weekend and evening social outings, including community service outreach.
  • Students will be offered limited shadowing opportunities.


Student Research Samples:

"Generation of Insulin-Secreting Glucose-Responsive ß-Cells from Human Stem Cells"

"Interleukin-8 Production in Drug-Sensitive and Drug-Resistant Brain Tumor Cells"

"Cell‐Cycle Regulators p27 and Cyclin D1 in Pten Null Adult β‐Cell Islets"

Past Faculty mentor profiles can be found on the faculty profiles page.

Resources for faculty members can be found on the faculty resources page.

Resources for program participants can be found on the student resources page.

University of Southern California University of Southern California