The Center’s Administrative Core is integral in managing the Center’s Educational and Training component which is composed of the following three programs designed to support education and research training at the three different levels and organized by the leadership of Drs. Said and Asahina.
Lee Summer Student Research Fellowship:
The Lee Summer Student Fellowship promotes hands-on research training for undergraduate, Master, and medical students. This program was commenced in 2001 based on the center’s endowment established by Dr. Sheng-Pu Lee. The program is aimed at supporting and inspiring the interest of students in research on the center’s theme. Eligible students who are interested in the Program may apply as long as they are able to work at least 8 weeks during the summer on a project related to the center’s theme as full-time fellows in the Center member’s laboratories. From 2015 to 2020, 46 students have been supported by the Program. Applicants are reviewed by Drs. Said and Asahina, and students are required to present their work undertaken in their mentor’s lab at the Progress Report meeting held on the second Friday of August. Upon completion of the fellowship, each student receives a certificate and an award of $800-1,000.
To know more about the past Lee Summer Students and application procedures: https://keck.usc.edu/alpd-and-cirrhosis-research-center/education/lee-summer-fellowship/
Graduate and Post-Graduate Educational Program:
The center continues to support a graduate educational program. A two unit graduate course INTD570 (formerly Pathology 575) entitled “Frontiers of Pathology – Cellular Homeostasis Lecture Series” offered in the spring semester at USC, is entirely supported by the center and coordinated by Kinji Asahina, Keigo Machida, and Hide Tsukamoto. The fundamental principle of the course is to offer graduate and post-graduate students opportunities to directly learn from and interact with leading and cutting-edge scientists in respective fields relevant to cellular homeostasis. The topics do not necessarily cover ALPD but are current mainstream research in cell and molecular biology highly relevant to ALPD and cirrhosis. We, at the ALPD Center, believe that learning cutting edge basic science in cellular homeostasis is essential for promoting the depth and sophistication of our scientific endeavors toward the understanding of the diseases of our center’s primary interest. The classes are taught by guest speakers and are open to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, pathology residents, faculty, and anyone with an interest in the topic. The course coordinators, in consult with the center investigators and other faculty members, invite distinguished seminar speakers from institutions across the U.S. as well as from foreign institutions. Because of the outstanding guest speakers and the effective outreach measures, the course has become a popular inter-departmental graduate course and a seminar series for research professionals. The number of graduate students taking this course for credit has been from 10-18 students per semester in the previous years.
The Center investigators also actively participate in teaching on ALPD and cirrhosis at USC graduate courses. Tsukamoto teaches two 2-hour lectures on the pathogenesis of ALD and cirrhosis in the USC General Pathology (INTD 550) and Advanced Pathology (INTD 551) courses. In the same course, Pandol teaches one 2-hour lecture on alcoholic pancreatitis and Said teaches one 2-hour lecture on intestinal vitamin transport in health and disease. Through these lectures, students are educated on the diseases and cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in their pathogeneses.
The Center considers postdoctoral training as one of the most critical educational components in pursuit of the center’s missions. The Center introduces new postdocs to the center’s key supportive components including administrative and technical Cores and educational programs and assist in professional development via educational courses (research ethics, grant writing, career choice, networking) supported by the USC Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and the respective institutions. In the center’s annual symposium, postdoctoral research is showcased by their poster or oral presentations, as well as by the Best Abstract Awards ($300/each) given to abstracts presented at the national meetings in the preceding year. Many of the center postdoctoral fellows have subsequently obtained junior faculty positions including nine during the past five years. These transitions of postdocs to the pathway to independence are the testament to the effective mentorship jointly rendered by senior center investigators, Cores and Pilot Project Program, contributing to the center’s continued growth.