Vanderbilt’s Virtual VSSA

Becky Adams, 11/25/2020

I have to start out my suggestions by directing you to the Virtual VSSA program that was put on by Dr. Beth Bowman at Vanderbilt last summer. Vanderbilt typically hosts several summer research programs for undergraduates, one of which is the Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy. These programs are intended to provide research experience to undergraduates at a top research institution. However, due to COVID, the in-person VSSA program had to be canceled last year. Rather than settling for doing nothing, Dr. Bowman wanted to provide a professional development opportunity to undergraduates, so she organized a series of virtual seminars, given over six weeks. We are lucky that she recorded all meetings, and they can be accessed at any time via the first link above. Topics covered include applying to Vanderbilt’s PhD, MD, and MD-PhD (Medical Scientist Training Program, MSTP) programs, the experiences of graduate/medical students in these programs, and topics of research by cutting-edge scientist faculty at Vandy. There is a fantastic collection of videos, all of which are informative, but I recommend you start with the talks by Beth Bowman, Ph.D. & Christina Keeton, Ph.D. and Kellie Wilson, IGP PhD Graduate Student. What a fantastic way to spend your holiday break!

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