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Student Programs 


reachThe Research Experience in Autism for College and High School students (REACH), sponsored by the Department of Pathology, is a short (2.5 week), intensive, pipeline program for underrepresented minority (URM) students interested in learning more about careers in Neuroscience, Medicine, and Health Related Professions.
REACH was developed in 2017 by Dr. Jenny Libien and Dr. Juan Marcos Alarcon in collaboration with Dr. Mary Valmont from the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health (AAIUH), Ms. Denise Sheares from the School of Graduate Studies and Dr. Anika Daniels-Osaze from the Office of Diversity and Research. The program engaged students in learning about the brain and Autism Spectrum Disorders and immersed students in a research experience in which they gained the skills necessary for future scientific inquiry in college, graduate or medical school. They also participated in clinical shadowing experiences.
The inaugural cohort had a total of 9 students in the program, including 4 students from the Undergraduate Summer Research Program. The students were split into 3 groups and presented their research projects during our summer symposium.


Group 1: A study of high and low cognitive demand in FMRP KO mice to model ASD
Alexander Jackson, Bishop Loughlin High School/ Health Science Academy, Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health Elizabeth Ogundare, Syracuse University/ Undergraduate Summer Research Program,
Alana Watt, CUNY City College/ Undergraduate Summer Research Program, Mentors: Juan Marcos Alarcon, PhD, Department of Pathology
Natasha Bobrowski- Khoury, PhD Student, Neural and Behavioral Sciences program 
Group 2: Evaluation of synaptic function in the hippocampal circuit of an ASD mouse model Ashley Jackman, Brooklyn College Academy/ Health Science Academy, Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health. Marie Ceant, CUNY Brooklyn College/ Undergraduate Summer Research Program
Kwame Tannis. Collegiate School/ Prep for Prep Program, School of Graduate Studies Mentors: Ifeoma Ezeoke, Medical Student
Rudolf Abdelmessih, Research Assistant, Department of Pathology
Group 3: The effects of object play and social interaction on GluR1 levels in a mouse model of ASD Marco Diaz Cordova, Graduate, Health Science Academy, Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health.
Athena Casey Stenor, Phillips Exeter Academy/ Prep for Prep Program, School of Graduate Studies.
J’NiqueWilliams, Robert Morris University/ Undergraduate Summer Research Program Mentors: Rebekah Cesar, Medical Student
Joey Bukai, Research Assistant, Department of Pathology


scheduleThe Health Professions Recruit- ment and Exposure Program (HPREP) is a national program that seeks to increase the scientific interest of underrepresented minority (URM) high school students through hands-on learning. HPREP has been in existence at Downstate for over twenty years. 
Over a period of 6 weeks, the program provides URM students with an experiential learning opportunity that is designed to increase their interest in science, raise their awareness about how they can address health disparities, and provide them with supportive mentorship, and preparation for college.
In 2017, HPREP recruited a co- hort of 36 students from 6 high schools: James Madison, Edward R. Murrow, High School for Medical Professions, Brooklyn Generation School, Academy for Conservation and the Environment, and the International High School At Prospect Heights. The students worked on group projects in the following areas: Type II Diabetes, Glaucoma, Alzheimer's, Coronary Artery Disease, Stroke, Hypertension.