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Fox Chase Cancer Center Health Careers Symposium Kicks Off Re-Designed High School Program

Students attending the symposium will learn about potential careers in medicine, nursing, science, information technology, and business administration

PHILADELPHIA, PA (March 21, 2013)—Fox Chase Cancer Center will be hosting a  one-day, no-cost symposium for high school students to learn about potential careers in medicine, nursing, science, information technology, and business administration. The Health Careers Symposium will take place on Saturday, March 23, from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Fox Chase Cancer Center’s main campus (333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia).

Structured like a typical scientific conference, the symposium will begin in the Fox Chase auditorium, where a “bench-to-bedside” plenary session will introduce attendees to cancer research and treatment, and keynote speakers will inspire their younger colleagues and generate excitement about careers in medicine.

After a free lunch, teams of clinical and research staff will teach concurrent sessions on more focused topics in research and medicine to smaller groups of students.

“We’re basically going to teach 42 courses in one day,” says cancer biology researcher Alana O’Reilly, PhD—who, along with volunteer services director Tina McDonnell, is responsible for the program. O’Reilly explains that each student will attend both a research or clinical lab-based session as well as an administrative session, such as health disparities, finance or human resources. “The idea is to introduce students to the variety of careers available within a medical institution.”

The symposium will be open to between 200 and 300 high school students and teachers on a first-come-first-serve basis.  The educational event will be free, but participants are required to register.

The symposium is part of a three-phase effort to launch Fox Chase’s newly re-designed High School Student Scientist Program. The three-phases include the day-long health careers symposium; a 10-week laboratory research training course; and a summer-long independent research project.

Since 1982, the Fox Chase High School Student Scientist Program has brought a select group of talented high school students to the Fox Chase campus each year to work in research labs with primary investigators as their mentors. The program gave the group of students, about 10 each year, a first-hand look into the world of scientific and biomedical research with the hope of inspiring them to become tomorrow’s scientists.

This year, a reimagined version of the program will continue to spread the spark of scientific curiosity to high school students—but far more than just 10.

“The old program gave students a great opportunity to get lab experience but it was very selective,” O’Reilly says.  “We wanted to expand the opportunities to more students.”

“We anticipate that our re-designed program will catalyze an interest in science in many students in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties,” she says.  “This is an ambitious undertaking, and requires the time and talent of diverse individuals to maximize this novel opportunity.  We welcome volunteers and suggestions for the new program.”

For more information, visit, or contact Alana O’Reilly at 215-214-1653 or Tina McDonnell at 215-728-2560.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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