Urban Health Institute

Urban Health Institute

Student Research Opportunities

The Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) Research Enterprise has emerged as a leading player in the national effort to eliminate health disparities through five areas of focus which disproportionally affect the surrounding Los Angeles Service Planning Area 6: Cancer, Cardio metabolic disease, HIV/AIDS, Mental Health and Health Policy and Health Services
Research is valuable because it offers:

  1. Mentorship from a knowledgeable faculty member
  2. Hands on experience that is beneficial for the pursuit of advanced degrees and future employers
  3. The possibility of becoming published and presenting at national and international conferences
  4. Insight into the front lines of research results- results that have the potential to contribute to the field of science and world

Should you consider doing research? Ask yourself:

  1. How can research prepare me for my future career?
  2. Will I like lab work or clinical work?
  3. Do I have time to take on research on top of my studies?
  4. What kind of research interests me? 

Take the following steps to find Research Opportunities at Charles R. Drew University:

  • Begin searching for a CDU Researcher
  • Reach out to Faculty:
    1. In person: Don’t forget to dress professionally, and have printed copies of your unofficial transcript and Curriculum Vitae (CV).
      1. An example of a CV can be found here: http://www.grad.illinois.edu/sites/default/files/pdfs/cvsamples.pdf
    2. In e-mail: Be aware of your spelling, grammar, and tone, and attach a copy of your unofficial transcript and Curriculum Vitae (CV).
      1. Sample email:
        1. Introduce yourself with your name, major, and program year. Briefly describe your research interests and how this particular faculty member has research that is interesting to you. Ask if the Faculty has any openings in their lab. If they do not have an opening, be sure to ask if they will have one in the future.
  • Discuss the Details If the faculty member confirms there is space available - Congratulations! You are now a CDU Researcher! Now you and your new CDU Faculty Research mentor need to discuss:

    1. When will you start?
    2. How many hours of week can you commit to the research?
    3. Are you expected to attend weekly/monthly lab meetings?
  • Enjoy yourself and learn as much as you can
    Now that you are part of a research team, try to learn as much as you can from everyone. This is your chance to ask questions, work hard, and learn from some of the best researchers in the world.
    Important tips to remember:

    1. Always dress in proper attire (e.g., close toed shoes, full length pants or equivalent, and a lab coat) *Dress code guidelines will be provided to you by your respective lab*
    2. Always be on time
    3. Always ask questions

Student Research Initiative (SRI)

Mission: To foster a student driven research initiative that promotes a healthier South LA through innovative efforts in community partnered research, education, and service.

On Saturday, February 25th, 2017, the Student Research Initiative (SRI) organized a Wellness Fair for the local community of Watts on the corner of 103rd and S. Central Avenue. The event's theme was "Celebrate Your Health" in view of promoting a healthier South LA community. The goal was to encourage residents to become aware of their current health status, as well as educating them about healthy lifestyle changes and connecting them with community resources. The family friendly festivities included free health screenings, health education, preventive care, community resources, vaccinations, stress release/self-care, mental and emotional well-being, aid for special needs children, clothes giveaway, food, raffles and fun. The health fair was designed in an effort to address the health disparities of this particular neighborhood by creating an outreach platform in order to foster partnerships between CDU, community-based organizations and Watts' residents.


Student Opportunities to Advance Research (SOAR)

The mission of the Urban Health Institute (UHI) is to support and build research capacity and research activities that maximize CDU’s efforts to substantially improve the health status of underserved communities. The UHI supports initiatives designed to build and enhance team-based student-training opportunities in minority health and health disparities research. To this end, the CDU Student Opportunities to Advance Research (SOAR) program is designed for team-based CDU student research in 5 key research areas: (1) Cancer, (2) Cardiometabolic, (3) HIV/AIDS, (4) Mental Health, and (5) Health Policy. Focusing on addressing health disparities to achieve health equity, the program is an interdisciplinary research training opportunity that is open to currently enrolled CDU students in COM, COSH and SON.

SOAR encourages the formation of collaborative teams to conduct integrated, translational, crossdisciplinary and inter-professional research. Team science initiatives are characterized by crossdisciplinary collaboration focused on complex problem-, project-, or product-oriented research (Falk-Krzesinski, 2012). The proposed projects should demonstrate well-defined goals or deliverables that will be achieved within one year.

SOAR 2016 students present at Xavier conference

On March 16th to 17th, four SOAR students along with three SOAR Mentors presented their research at the Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy 10th Annual Health Disparities Conference. The conference was a two-day event in which students heard various presentations regarding health and research among underserved communities.

SOAR 2017 Student Symposium