Aiming to boost interest in medical and scientific careers, AT&T has donated $10,000 to UT Health Northeast to support 10 biomedical science internships for high school and college students, giving them the opportunity to learn about advanced lab procedures such as gene cloning and DNA analysis.
The students will work on biomedical research projects alongside experienced scientists whose research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and organizations such as the American Heart Association, the Flight Attendants Medical Research Institute, and the American Lung Association.
“AT&T recognizes that the educational opportunities offered by UT Health Northeast contribute to the well-being of the entire region,” said Candice Gast, AT&T’s director of external affairs for Northeast Texas.
“Because our services depend on technology, much of which is used in healthcare communication and medical imaging, we are glad to partner with UT Health Northeast to provide high school and college students access to hands-on training in biomedical research. It’s good for Tyler, for UT Health, and for AT&T,” she added.
The internship program plans to start this year with five students, said Dr. Steven Idell, MD, Ph.D, vice president for research at UT Health Northeast. The internships are for high school students 16 years or older and college students considering careers in biomedical science and medicine.
“This support from AT&T is greatly appreciated. It will allow us to establish a new and innovative program to introduce young people to the world of medicine and science,” Dr. Idell said.
Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass agreed, saying, “AT&T’s $10,000 grant to UT Health Northeast for high school and college student internships is a tremendous help in growing participation in the sciences in our community.
“This is right in line with what we are working to accomplish with the Industry Growth Initiative’s focus on both education and biomedical research. Bravo to AT&T for stepping up to help in this way!” the mayor said.
Besides spending time in the lab, students will be able to shadow physicians and other healthcare providers in UT Health’s outpatient clinics.
“Students can see how patients with diseases being studied in the labs are actually being treated in the clinics,” Dr. Idell said.
Each summer internship will last for up to two months. Internships during the school year will be tailored to students’ availability, course load, and other extramural activities.
For more than 60 years, UT Health Northeast has provided excellent patient care and cutting-edge treatment, specializing in pulmonary disease, cancer, heart disease, primary care, and the disciplines that support them. UT Health Northeast’s annual operating budget of $138.8 million represents a major economic impact of over $347 million for the Northeast Texas region. Since 2002, scientists in the Center for Biomedical Research have been awarded more than $120 million in research dollars. As the academic health science center for Northeast Texas, its graduate medical education programs – with residencies in family medicine and occupational medicine – provide doctors for many communities throughout the region and beyond. UT Health Northeast is also the program sponsor of the residency program in internal medicine at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview.