Local high school, college and medical students receive research experience in MCW’s Cardiovascular Center, thanks to Cullen family donation

Milwaukee, Nov. 14, 2017 – Daeleon, Lantrell, Patrick and Trent all have aspirations of medical research careers. With generous support from the Cullen Family Healthy Heart Research Program aiding the Cardiovascular Center (CVC) at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) in its mission to train the next generation of diverse cardiovascular scientists, these students were all afforded the opportunity to receive invaluable hands-on cardiovascular research experience. At the MCW CVC this summer, they helped faculty, staff and other students with different research studies related to heart and blood vessel health.

Daeleon Brown-Williams performing research in MCW CVC labHigh school student Daeleon Brown-Williams and college student Lantrell Stewart participated in the Clinical Translational Science Institute 500 Stars Initiative, a multi-institutional, comprehensive educational and workforce diversity plan focused on increasing underrepresented minority students in the translational science workforce. Both students were grateful for their summer work in the CVC labs of Jennifer Strande, MD, PhD and Michael Widlansky, MD, MPH and expressed interest in doing this kind of work again in the future as they continue in school.

Thankful for the unique opportunity to work directly with college and graduate students, Brown-Williams was surprised at how much he enjoyed researching in the lab. "I am very proud to say that this experience confirmed my pursuit and gave me another possible route to take," he said. "Going forward, I would like to continue to be a part of researching, as well as being a cardiovascular surgeon."

High school student Daeleon Brown-Williams works in Dr. Jennifer Strande's lab at the MCW Cardiovascular Center, researching Duchenne muscular dystrophy and heart disease.

Patrick Palines and Trent Taylor were both full-time fellows in the laboratories of CVC investigators Debebe Gebremedhin, PhD and Johnny Hong, MD as part of the Medical Student Summer Research Program, geared toward MCW students who wish to gain research experience in between their first and second years of medical school. They both made significant strides in their research projects and identified potential areas for future investigation.

Proceeds from the annual Steve Cullen Healthy Heart Club Run & Walk go into funding these and other research efforts at the CVC. In addition to supporting the four students' summer lab experiences, this year's record-breaking gift allowed the CVC to support the life-saving research of Dr. Andrew S. Greene and training for and maintenance of state-of-the-art high-end imaging essential for many research projects.

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