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  • student takes notes during experiment

    Inaugural UH-HEART program fellow Robert Flores from the University of St. Thomas takes notes while conducting an experiment as part of his work on the role of inflammation in kidney disease with UH College of Pharmacy researcher and mentor Krishna Boini, Ph.D.

  • student at microscope

    Inaugural UH-HEART program fellow Ashton Huckaby from the University of Texas at San Antonio uses an imaging system as part of her work on coronary microvascular dysfunction under UH College of Pharmacy researcher and mentor Yang Zhang, Ph.D.

  • student working in lab

    Inaugural UH-HEART program fellow Jing Ming (Jett) Lim from UH prepares samples as part of his project engineering a microenvironment for heart cell regeneration with UH Cullen College of Engineering researcher and mentor Renita Horton, Ph.D.

  • photo of student working in lab

    Inaugural UH-HEART program fellow Mark Manickath from the University of Texas at Austin pipettes samples as part of his work on adrenoreceptor signaling in the heart under the direction of UH College of Pharmacy researcher, mentor, and program director Bradley McConnell, Ph.D., FAHA, FCVS.

Can't HEART-ly Wait

Organizers and Mentors Pumped for Return of Paid Summer Cardiovascular Research Program for Undergraduate Students, Recent Graduates

January 28 — The University of Houston–Houston Experience for Advancing Research and Training (UH-HEART) Program returns for a second year in summer 2022. The program provides participating undergraduate students or recent graduates with transdisciplinary summer research experiences and translatable skills for future careers in cardiovascular-related research.

Applications for this year’s program, which runs May 31 to Aug. 5, will be accepted from Feb. 1 to March 18.

Open to rising junior and senior undergraduate students as well as May 2022 graduates with a GPA of at least 3.0, UH-HEART offers stipends of $6,000 for participants who successfully complete the 10-week program. Participants are also eligible for additional support to attend a national conference within six months of program completion.

Participants will engage in a variety of cardiovascular research and enrichment activities under the guidance of a UH faculty sponsor, with additional group-based workshops and seminars. Benefits of participating in the program include working as a contributing team member in a cutting-edge cardiovascular research laboratory; developing responsible research skills; gaining didactic knowledge and firsthand experience of transdisciplinary research, collaborations and communication; and cultivating the basic and transferable skills necessary for succeeding in graduate school and a subsequent career in research. At the end of the program, participants will make a presentation on their experiences and research findings.

"We are building upon the success of last year and integrating the feedback from the UH-HEART students and mentors," said Bradley K. McConnell, Ph.D., FAHA, FCVS, UH College of Pharmacy professor of pharmacology and UH-HEART program director. "Our recruitment efforts have expanded to all eligible minority-serving institutions across Texas. We look forward to another outstanding group of students in Summer 2022!"

UH-HEART is supported by a three-year, $165,000 American Heart Association Institutional Award for Undergraduate Student Training grant. UH-HEART is housed within the UH Drug Discovery Institute, which fosters transdisciplinary collaborations between faculty from UH colleges of Engineering, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Medicine, Natural Science and Mathematics, Optometry, Pharmacy, and Technology.

The UH-HEART program leadership consists of McConnell; Tho Tran, Ph.D., research assistant professor of chemistry and UH-HEART assistant program director; and Courtney Hunt, Ph.D., research assistant professor and director of Strategic Research Development. Other faculty mentors participating in the program are Krishna Boini, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology; Yang Zhang, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology; Renita Horton, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical engineering; and Preethi Gunaratne, Ph.D., Moores Professor of Biology and Biochemistry.