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2012 URI Program Update

The URI interns have been very ambitious after finishing our program. Two of the students, Jacquelyn Hoffman and Amy Yu (WHURI-2), created a Women's Health class at UC Berkeley this past fall entitled "Issues in Reproductive Technology and Justice" which now continues each semester, influencing other undergraduate students at UCB, with many talks by our ob-gyn faculty members.

2012 URI Cohort Group Photo.

Abby Cortez (WHURI-2, shown above) continues to work in Dr. Sindy Mellon's lab at UCSF during her final year at UC Berkeley while doing her honors thesis there. View PDF iconCortez's award winning poster here. Paula Yoffe (PURI-2) is doing her senior honors thesis at UCSF with Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist. Vanita Mistry, Tiffany Chambers, and Kao Thao (all URI-2s), were selected this spring as three of ten Fellows for the Minority Health - Global Health Fellowship at UC Berkeley for this summer of 2011: Tiffany and Kao will be going to Namibia (Africa) to research anthrax, and Vanita will be going to India to study the empowerment of women. Two of our interns have now been accepted to medical school and will start this fall: Jaspreet Singh (WHURI-2) and Veronica Gonzalez (WHURI-1).

Research Symposium

The 2012 URI interns were mentored by a diverse group of researchers. This year, our URI interns presented on the following topics at our annual Research Symposium.

  • Denisse Rojas | A Content Analysis of Beverage Contracts from California Public Schools (Anisha Patel, MD, MSPH)
  • Jennifer Cabello-Chavez | Early Prenatal Testing and Informed Choice (the EPIC Study) (Miriam Kuppermann, PhD, MPH)
  • Jennifer Tu |Patient Satisfaction in Ambulatory Care Setting Study (Christy Boscardin, PhD)
  • Christine Chilaka | Keeping It 100: Investigating the Accuracy of Abortion Related Information on the Internet (Katrina Kimport, PhD, MA)
  • Aminta Kouyate |Autism Research Project (Lisa Croen, PhD)
  • Rosalina Penaloza | Construction of Motion-Deficient Budding Yeast Strains (Jennifer Fung, PhD)
  • Ivan Zamora-Diaz | Anti-Microbial, Anti-HIV Vaginal Spermicides: A Look at Its Promise and Failure and New Strategies for Future Development (Linda C. Giudice, MD, PhD, MSc)
  • Kristin Aquino | A Qualitative Study on Labor Contractions Using Twitter (Naomi Stotland, MD)
  • Hannah Yemane | Quality of Communication between ESL Patients and their Medical Provider in the 5M Clinic at SFGH (Andrea Jackson, MD, MAS)
  • Sara Aziz | The Experience of Waterbirth (Jenna Shaw-Battista, CNM, NP, MS, PhD)
  • Sara Jara- Padilla | APPLES and Me (Assiamira Ferrera, MD, PhD)
  • Maribel Patino | Allopregnanolone Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders (Sindy Mellon, PhD)
  • Kao Houa Vang | The Role of GPR-3 in Oocytes Maturation (Marco Conti, MD)
  • Betty Njenga | Systematic Analysis of Exclusive Breastfeeding vs. Breastfeeding plus Formula on Gastroenteritis (Valerie Flaherman, MD, MPH)
  • Bryant Ho |Joint Medical Program Highland Hospital Patient Experience (Amin Azzim, MD, MA)
  • Adan Garcia-Mecinas | Becoming the Patient Module, 2012 edition (Amin Azzim, MD, MA)

Program Background

In 2008, Patricia Robertson, MD (Professor and Endowed Chair for Obstetric and Gynecologic Education in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at UCSF), and Juan Guerra, MD (member of the Ob-Gyn UCSF Volunteer Clinical Faculty on staff at Kaiser Oakland and former Site Director for third year UCSF medical students there) decided to combine their efforts to increase the diversity of medical students interested in women's health by establishing the Women's Health Undergraduate Research Internship (WHURI) at UCSF. At the UC undergraduate level, a "leak in the pipeline" of ethnic minority students (associated with the large science classes) has been documented, which then decreases diversity in medical schools, residencies and ultimately faculty. This WHURI program is for University of California at Berkeley (UCB) undergraduate pre-med students interested in women's health.

The program started with 10 interns in women's health for the summer of 2009. During the past summer of 2010, the program expanded to 15 interns to also include pediatrics (PURI) and internal medicine (MURI). The goal of the overall program (URI) is to inspire diverse students interested in women's health, pediatrics and internal medicine with clinical shadowing at UCSF and Kaiser Oakland, didactics, and a meaningful research project. Student stipends ($2,500 each) and supplies are provided by funds from Dr. Robertson's Endowed Chair (funded by the Academy of Medical Educators and her department), Northern Kaiser Permanente, and philanthropy. The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at UCSF provides in-kind administrative support.