Summer Research Fellowship Program at CLEAR

As estimated 20 million people in the United States have diabetes, a serious, life-long condition. Foot pathology is one of the most common complications associated with diabetes and podiatrists are often the first line clinicians seen by diabetic patients. As it is a relatively young discipline, podiatry has not developed institutionalized research training opportunities for podiatric medical students interested in careers in biomedical and clinical research. Podiatric medical students are traditionally under-represented in research careers but provide a large pool of available talent that can be recruited in both clinical and biomedical science research. This is especially true in the field of diabetes.

Recently thanks to the effort of researchers at Scholl’s Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research (CLEAR) founded by Prof. David Armstrong, DPM, PhD in 2004, Scholl became the first podiatry school to be awarded an NIH T35 training grant. The grant entitled, “Summer Research Fellowship Program for Podiatric Medical Students” was awarded until 2013. It will fund 10 students for their summer research experience.

Last summer was very productive year for the Scholl Summer Research Program. Several abstracts and manuscripts were fruit of this program so far. Thanks to this program Mr Tahir Khan (Class 2011) received an award from APMSA for continuing his fantastic research during last summer. He also presented his work at APMA2009 in Toronto-Canada. Mrs Deena Horn (Class 2012) and Mr Daniel Miller (Class 2012) are other stars of the last summer research program. Mr Miller explored for the first time the impact of the type of footwear on gait initiation. He submitted a manuscript to Gait & Posture and another manuscript is under development. He also submitted several abstracts to APMA2010 and Gait2010 international conferences. Mrs Deena Horn (class 2012) explored the impact of different sensory feedback on maintaining the balance. She used an innovative technology based on body worn sensors and novel paradigms to examine both neurological and biomechanical aspects underlying postural control in humans.

To continue this successful program and educating future scientists in the area of podiatric medicine, this year we start to receive new proposals from new students (Class 2013) for initiating another (and hopefully fruitful) summer research program on 2010.

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