The Lundquist Institute Celebrates 82 High School Students’ Graduation from its Virtual Summer Fellows Program

LOS ANGELES — The Lundquist Institute hosted the commencement ceremony for 82 high school students graduating from its Summer Fellows Program 2020, an eight-week course of study designed to encourage graduating high school seniors and high school juniors to explore careers in the field of biomedical science. The program was transformed from an in-person to a virtual curriculum to allow students to participate in this valuable educational opportunity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 250 students, parents, elected officials and Lundquist Institute scientists and faculty came together on Zoom to celebrate the completion of the Summer Fellows Program with opening remarks from Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

“I am pleased to know that it is here at The Lundquist Institute that great things have happened and continue to happen,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “By making this year’s program virtual, even more students could participate in this incredible program. The Lundquist Institute is a premier research establishment and you have now been exposed to its work and its value. It is a unique experience to say the least.”

Established in 1978, The Lundquist Institute’s Summer Fellows Program is one of several successful student programs at the organization that gives young people the opportunity to gain first-hand experience working in a scientific and research environment under the mentorship of The Lundquist Institute's distinguished investigators.

Students participated in weekly lecture series presented by world-renowned faculty, comprising 32 presentations by 35 Lundquist investigators, including topics such as The Music of Pandemics, Cutting-Edge Technologies in Neurotherapeutic Research and Development, and Career Pathways in Biological Sciences. During the final week of the program, students presented their summer research to their peers, parents and family and members of the research community.  Students were awarded Certificates of Achievement for their participation. Students in this program generally go on to medical school or careers in research. One of The Lundquist Institute’s student alumni now serves as a program officer at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), while another is the Chair of Surgery at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

“Our investigators and faculty enjoy the opportunity to interact with the students in the Fellows Program as they are our next generation of scientists and researchers,” said Jody Spillane, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at The Lundquist Institute. “I appreciate how everyone came together to provide a top-notch, virtual experience for these 82 young people.”