Now more than ever, the importance of biomedical research is taking center stage in our national conversation. This summer, 10 College of Western Idaho (CWI) students are transitioning to Boise State University through the Bridges to Baccalaureate program Summer Research Experience and will begin their careers in biomedical research.
As COVID-19 shuts down colleges and communities nationwide, the value of the B2B program has never been more obvious. The need for an effective vaccine to fight the virus has been the subject of much ink – read a recent review from the scientific journal, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. These conversations shine a light on the importance of biomedical research in this country and the path our students have committed to. COVID-19 has even effected our students’ summer research experience! It will still continue, but similar to nearly every person in the nation, we will be changing what this looks like due to the global pandemic. Students will be meeting virtually with their faculty mentors at Boise State, conducting research from their homes, and participating with the summer research community at Boise State to a lesser degree than last year’s Bridges Fellows. Much will depend, of course, on how Idahoans help to slow the spread of the virus and when Boise State can safely reopen their research laboratories. Nevertheless, the program will continue, and this year’s B2B Fellows will have a keen sense of their role in the future of medicine and science in a global context.
Congratulations to this year’s Fellows! If you know them, please join me in wishing them luck – from a safe social distance! We need science, and this group of students is our latest contribution to the fight. Go get ‘em Otters!
The Bridges to Baccalaureate program is funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.