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High School Students Learn About Surgery Research

Five minority students from southern Wisconsin made up the first-ever group of students enrolled in the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health's Clinical Research Experiences for High School Students.


They did surgery research this summer thanks to Dr. Herb Chen, head of the general surgery division at UW Hospital and Clinics, who won a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.


They were selected from students in UW-Madison's Pre-college Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence (PEOPLE).


The students, and their research topics, were:

  • Ronsha Brown, West Allis High School, The HyperAcute Pancreatic Cancer Vaccine Clinical Trial (mentored by Dr. Cliff Cho and research staff Deb Gawin and Cass Nunez)

  • Lilana Loera, Madison LaFollette High School, Interrelationship of Mammographic Density and Body Mass Index in Women Undergoing Weight Loss Surgery (mentored by Dr. Lee Wilke and medical student Kelly Boyle)

  • Dr. Marquita Decker, a postdoctoral trainee in the Department of Surgery, shows students how to tie the knots used in surgery.

    Mulki Nur, Verona Area High School, Readmission after Discharge Following General Surgery (focusing on critical limb ischemia) (mentored by Dr. Greg Kennedy and medical student Brittney Kohlnhofer)

  • David Pontes, Madison West High School, The Efficacy of Unilateral Thyroidectomy for the Treatment of Benign, Multinodular Goiter (mentored by Dr. Herb Chen and medical student Philip Bauer)

  • Ivonne Rosado, Milwaukee South Division High School, Thyroidectomy in an Ambulatory Procedure Center Leads to Reduced Turnover Time and Increased Case Volumes (mentored by Dr. Becky Sippel and medical student Nicholas Clark)

Students were paired with faculty members and UW School of Medicine and Public Health medical students who were conducting summer research projects. They assisted in the ongoing research projects as a mechanism to learn about core research concepts, careers in academic medicine and the rewards of careers involving research. During the six weeks of the program, they learned about topics that included biostatistics, ethics, literature searches, scientific writing, drug development and presenting research findings. They were also exposed to a broad range of medical careers through seminars and interviewing opportunities.


The program was also featured in the Wisconsin State Journal in July.

Date Published: 08/07/2012

News tag(s):  researchsurgeryherbert chensimulation

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High School Students Learn About Surgery Research

Last updated: 12/21/2015
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