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Discover Our 2018 CRISSP Scholars' Summer Scrapbook

Published on July 26, 2018 in Cornerstone Blog · Last updated 4 months ago


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Every year, a new group of undergraduate students immerse themselves in our rich ecosystem of science and discovery through the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute Summer Scholars Program (CRISSP). Hailing from colleges and universities across the country, the highly competitive internship allows the students to experience our breakthroughs firsthand through direct mentorship by CHOP faculty, practical training in labs and research groups, and valuable exposure to a career focused on advancing children’s health. On top of that, CRISSP gives the researchers-in-training a taste of life in Philadelphia, with fun off-campus outings and a chance to network in the city of brotherly love. This year, our batch of 25 students represented a wide range of research interests and worked with principal investigators who lead the field in their respective domains, including mitochondrial medicine, genetics, hematology, neurology, and more. And this year, we got a special glimpse into some of the wonderful moments and memories that marked our scholars’ summer. We invite you to flip through the photo gallery below to learn more about the CRISSP program. (Find more information about the program, including application deadlines and a sample schedule here).

If interested in becoming a faculty host for CHOP-RISES students, please contact Jodi Leckrone.

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Welcome to CHOP!

On June 4, the CRISSP students met and mingled at Orientation Day. For the next 10 weeks, the group will get to know each other and also embark on their own individual research experiences. Meet our 2018 CRISSP students! In the back row, from left to right: Rajiv Potluri (Swarthmore College), Julian Krisak (Community College of Philadelphia), Lexi Holroyd (Drew University), Calvin Chan (Swarthmore College), Matthew Yuen (Dartmouth College), Connor Grady (University of Georgia), Jabari Brooks (University of Miami), Eric Takoushian (UNC at Chapel Hill), Kaitlin McKernan (University of Michigan), Tosin Adeyemi (University of Michigan), Clara Karastury (Northeastern University), Ellie Xu (University of Chicago), Nadia Porter (Penn State), and Jennifer Jolivert (Haverford College). In the front row, from left to right: Zoey Miller (Dickinson College), Dawn Miller (Community College of Philadelphia), Jessica Zhang (University of Virginia), Kathryn Leininger (Bowdoin College), Corynn Appolonia (University of Pittsburgh), Nina Wallace (Howard University), Pallavi Joshi (University of California Berkeley), Alexandra Montesinos (Hunter College), Caitlin Strachan (Swarthmore College), Margaret Jia (Cornell University), and Tali Rychik (Brandeis University).

Heads Up

Breaking the Ice

CRISSP Orientation definitely includes more than just presentations and slideshows: CRISSP students got to know each other with a game of "Heads Up", played alongside Janet Stuart, MEd, CHES, training specialist for the Office of Academic Training and Outreach Programs.


Meeting a Mentor

Mentors make up a big part of the CRISSP experience and through the program, students are exposed to a variety of facets involved in a research career. At this mentoring lunch June 14, the students met Judi Miller, PhD, MS, a senior scientist in the Center for Autism Research and a psychologist in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Jabari Brooks

Diving Into Science

Jabari Brooks, a CRISSP scholar and undergraduate student from the University of Miami, works in the lab with his supervisor Rebecca Ahrens-Nicklas, MD, PhD, senior research scientist and attending physician with the Metabolic Disease Program and the Division of Human Genetics, at the Abramson Pediatric Research Center. Jabari’s PI is Eric Marsh, MD, PhD, pediatric neurologist. "I love CRISSP because of the independence that the program allows you to obtain in the lab," Jabari said. "CRISSP also gives me the opportunity to determine what I want my career to be by talking to professionals in the medical field."

Tosin Adeyemi

Exploring Pediatric Medicine Careers

"I like CRISSP because, as interns, we are seamlessly integrated into the CHOP Research community, filled with inspiring and approachable individuals who are willing to talk about their career path and current research," said Tosin Adeyemi, CRISSP scholar and undergraduate student at the University of Michigan. "This opportunity has been rewarding as I explore different fields within medicine." In this photo, Tosin works alongside her PI, Andrea Knight, MD, MSCE, attending physician in the Division of Rheumatology, at the Roberts Center for Pediatric Research.

Eric Takoushian

Life in the Lab

Eric Takoushian, CRISSP scholar and undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel-Hill, is all smiles as he engages in life in the lab with his PI, Ronald Rubenstein, MD, PhD, attending pulmonologist in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine.

Caitlin Strachan

Celebrating Science

Crowns, cake, and…kidneys? Caitlin Strachan, CRISSP scholar and undergraduate at Swarthmore College, poses with her PI, Sandra Amaral, MD, MHS, attending physician in the Division of Nephrology and the Kidney Transplant and Dialysis Program at CHOP.

Off Campus

Sightseeing in the City of Brotherly Love

Of course, the CRISSP students don’t stick around in labs and clinics all day: Connor, Alexandra, Margaret, Ellie, and Tosin hang out by the harbor front.

Off Campus

Out and About

The group poses in front of the Swann Memorial Fountain in the heart of Logan Square.

STEM PREP Breakfast

Paying It Forward

Beyond their own experiences with CHOP mentors, the students also got a chance to take on the role of mentors themselves! On July 13, the group led the STEM-PREP College Breakfast Session, an annual CRISSP tradition in which tenth-grade high school STEM-PREP students are paired with CRISSP mentors to learn about the college application process and navigating the world of science, medicine, and research. Talking about “Paying It Forward”, Jabari Brooks, a 2018 CRISSP scholar who co-facilitated the breakfast joined STEM-PREP as a high school freshman and is still involved in the program today. STEM-PREP is an independent program from CHOP and CRISSP.

Want to learn more about CRISSP? Check out this day-in-the-life post from Julie Uchitel, a 2017 CRISSP student.