Top UC Undergraduates to Converge at Research Symposium

A research symposium featuring the work of some of the top undergraduates in the UC system will be hosted by UCSF, March 5 and 6, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel near San Francisco International Airport. The Annual UC LEADS (University of California Leadership Excellence through Advanced DegreeS) Research and Leadership Symposium is the highlight of the academic year for scholars in a two-year program that prepares a talented and diverse group of UC undergraduates for science, technology, engineering and mathematics graduate school. UCSF faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars are encouraged to attend sessions at this event and support the undergraduates who have worked in their labs. It is aslo an excellent opportunity to recruit top-notch students to UCSF graduate programs. UC LEADS Scholars have worked in the labs of such UCSF luminaries as Michael Bishop, Peter Walter and Zena Werb. The UCSF Graduate Division will supply transportation to and from the event, and meals will be provided at the Crowne Plaza. "This symposium provides these talented undergraduates an opportunity to engage in scientific discourse with members of the UCSF community, and also gives faculty a chance to interact with many potential applicants to UCSF PhD programs," says Chris Des Jarlais, assistant dean in the Graduate Division. UC LEADS offers research support to exceptional undergraduates who have experienced educational or socioeconomic disadvantage, to help make them more competitive applicants to UC graduate programs. UCSF recruits its undergraduate LEADS Scholars from the other campuses, though most are from UC Berkeley. UC LEADS scholars are serious students who know by their sophomore year that they want to pursue research careers in science. They usually enter the program with some lab experience already on their CV, and by the end of their two-year participation they have substantial research experience behind them. UC Berkeley senior and UCSF LEADS scholar David Nguyen began working in a lab during his freshman year -- in high school. At the Symposium, scholars share the results of their research through poster presentations, attend workshops and panels, listen to keynote addresses, and interact with other members of the UC LEADS community. The Symposium is open to scholars, mentors, and special guests. More information about the UC LEADS 2005 Leadership Symposium is available on the web. Those interested may also contact Christine D. Des Jarlais.