Rice’s new Summer Cardiovascular Research Internship Program focuses on heart disease

American Heart Association research program launches May 31

Some Houston-area undergraduate students will get a chance to train in cardiovascular research at Rice and to learn how to translate that research into high-impact endeavors that enhance the quality of life for people with heart disease.

Andy Zhang (left) and Varun Krishnamurthy (right), who have both received AHA funding, work in Grande-Allen’s lab.

Rice University bioengineer Jane Grande-Allen was awarded a three-year grant from the American Heart Association (AHA) that will fund the Summer Cardiovascular Research Internship Program (SCRIP), a 10-week summer program in which five students from the Greater Houston area will conduct research focused on cardiovascular science, translational studies and community health.

Grande-Allen, the Isabel C. Cameron Professor of Bioengineering and director of the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB) at Rice, designed the SCRIP specifically to provide training for local undergraduate students interested in studying cardiovascular disease, which is the cause of 28 percent of deaths in Houston.

“Between the pollution, Texas-sized food portions and the city’s strong-driving culture, Houstonians understand firsthand how cardiovascular disease affects their community,” Grande-Allen said.

Zhang is a bioengineering junior in Grande-Allen’s lab.

The Rice University AHA SCRIP program will accept applications through Feb. 17 from students who attend universities in the Houston area or who will be living in Houston for the summer. The program will be administered through the IBB. The first SCRIP will be from May 31 to Aug. 4.

Enhancing research, quality teaching and biosciences are among Rice’s priorities for the new century.

Interns will participate in professional development activities designed to improve scientific communication skills and will learn from mentors in five focus areas: vasculogenesis (blood vessel formation) in developmental biology; basic science of cardiovascular cells, tissues and organs; computational cardiovascular modeling; translational cardiovascular science; and cardiovascular health in the community.

“Houston has an amazing medical community and a large, varied population,” Grande-Allen said. “It’s a great place to conduct research, make connections and network for those looking to pursue cardiovascular research.”

Interested students can apply at https://ibb.rice.edu/research-training/aha-scrip.

About Kendall Schoemann

Kendall Schoemann is a staff writer in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.