Biomedical Career Advancement Program brings DPS students to School of Medicine

June 22, 2017

Nearly 90 high school students from Detroit Public Schools and metropolitan Detroit will work alongside faculty members of the Wayne State University School of Medicine, conducting research in labs utilizing state-of-the-art techniques in biomedicine as part of the Biomedical Career Advancement Program.

The program, a six-week paid internship that will run from June 23 through Aug. 3, is a collaborative program between the Wayne State University School of Medicine, the Michigan Area Health Education Center, the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority and the Detroit Public Schools Community District. The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority has provided $150,000 to expand the program for DPSCD students.

BCAP, founded in 2014 by Jennell White, Ph.D., director of BCAP and research scientist for the School of Medicine and the Children's Hospital of Michigan, is dedicated to students from disadvantaged backgrounds to offer opportunities to explore research investigation in a highly enriched environment that is devoted exclusively to biomedical research and training. Dr. White, who received her doctoral degree in Physiology from the School of Medicine 2011, was inspired to create BCAP because she participated in a similar program in high school that sparked her interest in science and medicine.

“This initiative was developed to help high school juniors gain the skills and knowledge to work in a laboratory or in a health-related research field,” Dr. White said. “An additional benefit is that the program will assist students with strengthening their skills in science, technology, engineering and math.”

Dr. White is a former Initiative for Maximizing Student Development member and an alumna of the Department of Physiology’s Reproductive Science Concentration Program.

During the internship, students will have the opportunity to gain laboratory and research experience, attend seminars conducted by faculty and graduate students, and participate in round-table discussions to exchange ideas and share experiences. At the end of the program, students will present their research to their fellow program participants and families.

The Michigan Area Health Education Center, a program of Wayne State University, was established in 2010. Through a statewide network of regional centers, Michigan AHEC works to improve community health and strengthen the state’s health care workforce by recruiting, training and retaining health professionals committed to increasing access to primary care in underserved areas. For more information, visit or call 313-577-5161.