Training Core

Training 472X206

NAU Principle Investigator

Jani Ingram, PhD

UACC/UA Principle Investigator

 Margaret Briehl, PhD

NAU Training Program Coordinator

Christal Black, MA

Specific Aims

Develop effective transition steps to increase the number of Native American students in the cancer research and health sciences pipeline. Specifically:

  1. Expand introductory cancer-related exploration experience for freshmen [Health Transition and Academic Readiness (STAR)] at NAU
  2. Implement a summer cancer-related research experience at NAU to initiate the transition process for tribal and community college students into universities [Summer Transitional Enrichment Program (STEP)]. 
  3. Develop programs to prepare Native American undergraduate students to enter biomedical graduate programs.

 NACP Training Program Video Library

View videos of the students at work from the Training Programs click here.

Programs Offered by the Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention

Health Success Transition and Academic Readiness (STAR) Program

Students majoring in biomedical or health professions will meet twice a week for one-and-a-half hours to participate in lab experiments and learn about research development to allow for a smooth transition. STAR program is an innovative and new way to allow incoming freshmen to begin their higher education at Northern Arizona University. This program is sponsored by the Multicultural Student Center; it assists new students with making important transitions from high school academia to college. Students must meet the following required criteria: first-generation college student, demonstrate financial need, and are a member of an ethnic minority group. For the duration of the short five weeks, STAR students earn six university credit hours, live in the STAR residence hall, experience campus life and connect with similar new students!

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Summer 2010-2011 STAR students engaging in hands-on water sampling for radioisotope analysis (left); STAR students learn to develop research techniques while listening to mentors lecture on the research objectives and goals (right).
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STAR students pose after sampling.

The Summer Transitional Enrichment Program (STEP)

The Summer Transitional Enrichment Program at Northern Arizona University is a summer program designed to offer tribal/community college students the opportunity to get hands-on research experience. The program consist of individual projects for each student in which the student will learn to collaborate with a faculty mentor and other research students in a research setting. This ten-week program will give students the opportunity to develop research methods and skills on a university scale while still attending a tribal/community college. Furthermore, this unique program is sponsored by the Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention health/science research program in collaboration with the Research Experience for Undergraduates environmental science research program.

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The Summer Transitional Enrichment Program (STEP) and Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) students’ poster presentation was held in the Biochemistry building at Northern Arizona University, summer 2010, where students displayed their research efforts and development over the 10-week course of the program.
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Sydney Davis (Navajo), a sophomore at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, and Veronica Apachee (Navajo), a sophomore from Dine' College, collaborated with Dr. Alison Adams on "Using Yeast to Study Cancer."
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Shannon George (Navajo), a freshmen from Dine' College worked with Dr. Diane Stearns over the ten-week course on conducting research regarding "Analysis of Uran ium-Induced DNA Damage by Gel Electrophoresis."
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Rosan Primeaux (Ponco Tribe of Oklahoma), a sophomore from Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute collaborated with Cruz Begay on the research project, "Health Promotion efforts with Native Communities in Hopi, Navajo, and Mexico in regards to Diabetes and Dental Hygiene."
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(left) The Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention 2010 summer STEP students, representing various Tribal/Community colleges and have conducted research with Northern Arizona University faculty mentors and students. (right) Trevor Chapman (San Carlos Apache), a sophomore at Coconino Community College worked with Dr. Matthew Gage over the ten-week course on "Allostery and Cellular Distribution of Nitric Oxide Receptor, Soluble GuanylylCyclase."

Current Northern Arizona University Students

At Northern Arizona University, undergraduate students have the opportunity to develop and gain research experience as early as their freshmen year in college. Undergraduate and graduate students work side by side in conjunction with a faculty mentor and other collaborating staff from neighboring universities. Minority research student recruitment is an essential objective of the Native American Cancer Prevention Program here at Northern Arizona University. Students are presented a real research setting in which a research program dealing with various components of cancer-related issues and research are conducted among Native Americans. Students partake in developing and exercising new developed research techniques to address many questions within their research. Students are strongly encouraged to present at local and national meetings, complete internships, and engage with affected community members regarding their research. Furthermore, students develop a unique diverse collaboration with other NAU students from various background majors, creating an interdisciplinary relationship for many research groups.

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Northern Arizona University undergraduate students from the Dr. Jani Ingram Laboratory are conducting research on environmental effects of uranium. Dr. Jani Ingram strongly encourages her undergraduate students to present their research at national conferences like the American Chemical Society Conference.
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NAU Undergraduate students in the Ingram Lab begin developing lab technique and research development working on uranium-related projects. Seniors Tony and Mangas worked on elemental uranium analysis on sheep tissue collected near abandoned uranium mines in Cameron, AZ.