DARREN SULTAN of West Orange was one of 11 Yeshiva University undergraduates selected to participate in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program for advanced biomedical study at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
The program, which ran through the end of July, gave Sultan, he said, “exposure to many exciting developments in biochemistry.”
Directed by Dr. Victoria Freedman, Einstein’s associate dean for graduate programs in the biomedical sciences, and Dr. Barry Potvin, professor of biology at Yeshiva College and visiting professor in the cell biology department at Einstein, the program drew a total 58 students to engage in cutting-edge scientific studies. The students receive hands-on research experience normally reserved for graduate-level work in their fields of interest — from neuroscience to epidemiology to microbiology.
The program aims “to provide each student with the opportunity to experience the many rewards and challenges of biomedical research,” said Potvin. “It is hoped that some will decide to include research in their future career plans and that they will apply for admission to Einstein’s MD, PhD, or MD/PhD programs.”
“While I want to pursue a career in medicine that is mostly clinically based,” said Sultan, “I think it is important to get some experience with research because research forms the foundations of what we know regarding medicine.”
A chemistry major at Yeshiva College, Sultan worked in a lab that uses click chemistry reactions to visualize the sugars in live cells to better understand how those sugars are processed by the cells. Sultan was awarded a scholarship through the Roth Institute Scholars Program, funded by the Ernst and Hedwig Roth Institute of Biomedical Science Education at YU. Students are provided with a stipend and on-campus housing at Einstein while group seminars and workshops give a broad overview of the many types of research conducted at Einstein. In August, the students share their work as part of a poster session.
“Research experience is also great training for anyone interested in a career in science no matter the particular path that one may be interested in,” said Sultan, who added that he is considering a career in surgery.
— LARA MOEHLMAN