Formerly the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experience (CURE) program

Chicago EYES (Educators and Youth Enjoy Science) on Cancer is a cancer research training program for high school and college students interested in careers in biomedicine. The program also welcomes secondary science educators.

Chicago EYES on Cancer student doing research

For two consecutive summers, participants work full time in the laboratories of established cancer researchers at the university. Rigorous research training is complemented with a cancer-based summer lecture series, year-round career development and skill-building workshops, and a network of faculty and peer mentors dedicated to participants’ success. The program culminates in a research symposium to showcase participants’ work across basic, translational, clinical, and population-based areas of cancer research.

Chicago EYES on Cancer is funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute in addition to generous donations. Programming is provided in part through a partnership with the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago.

High School and College Students

Chicago EYES on Cancer is a two-year program consisting of two eight-week summer research experiences plus monthly academic year activities. The summer research experiences generally run from the third week of June through the first full week of August. Specific dates are announced with the release of application materials each fall.

Please note that accommodations will be made for students whose last days of school overlap with the first days of the EYES program.

  • Hands-on experience in a cutting-edge laboratory or research group
  • Year-round career development and skill-building workshops
  • Ongoing mentorship from network of university faculty, research professionals, program personnel and peers
  • Taxable stipend of $3,100 (high school students) or $4,000 (college students) per year
  • High school sophomore, junior or senior, OR college freshman or sophomore at time of application
  • At least 16 years of age at start of program
  • United States citizen or permanent resident
  • Strong interest in a career in scientific research or medicine
  • Strong academic record, particularly in math and science
  • Ability to commit to the full two-year program, including 8-week research experiences (40 hours/week) for two consecutive summers and monthly enrichment activities during the academic year
  • Priority is given to applicants from groups underrepresented in biomedicine, encompassing all relevant social, behavioral as well as health sciences. Applications are encouraged from any individual with demonstrated commitment to increase the full participation of underrepresented groups in biomedicine. Learn more.

Please note that students are responsible for their own housing and transportation to and from the University of Chicago during their summer research experiences.

Admission to Chicago EYES on Cancer is highly competitive. Approximately ten new students are selected each year. Selection is based on applicants’ stated interest in the program, academic record, and letters of recommendation.

To apply:

Conflict of Interest Policy:The selection of applicants is managed by the program leadership team. Immediate family members of the leadership team, UChicago faculty or the Chicago EYES on Cancer Advisory Committee are ineligible for the program. All applications will be subject to the Conflict of Interest Policy.

Secondary Science Educators

Chicago EYES on Cancer is a two-year program consisting of two seven-week summer research experiences plus a series of professional learning community (PLC) activities throughout the academic year. The summer research experiences generally run from the fourth week of June through the first week of August. PLC activities are scheduled on four Saturdays throughout the school year. Specific dates are announced with the release of application materials each fall.

Please note that accommodations will be made for teachers whose last days of school overlap with the first days of the EYES program.

  • Hands-on experience in a cutting-edge laboratory or research group
  • Mentored curriculum development focused on project-based scientific inquiry
  • Access to network of university faculty, research professionals, program personnel and peers for ongoing support
  • Access to state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, supplies, and scientific literature for classroom use
  • Taxable stipend of $9,600 (Year 1) or $10,800 (Year 2)
  • Currently employed full-time as a high school science teacher (applicants do NOT have to be employed by Chicago Public Schools)
  • Strong commitment to advancing students’ capacity for inquiry-driven, project-based science learning
  • Familiarity with basic principles in cell and molecular biology and/or basic chemistry
  • Ability to commit to the full two-year program, including 7-week research experiences (40 hours/week) for two consecutive summers and four Saturday PLC meetings for two consecutive school years
  • United States citizen or permanent resident
  • Teachers of those underrepresented in biomedicine, encompassing all relevant social, behavioral as well as health sciences, are strongly encouraged to apply. Applications are encouraged from any individuals with a demonstrated commitment to increase the full participation of underrepresented groups in biomedicine. Learn more.

Please note that teacher research fellows are responsible for their own housing and transportation to and from the University of Chicago during their summer research experiences.

Admission to Chicago EYES on Cancer is based on applicants’ stated interest in the program, their capacity to impact the science learning experiences of underrepresented youth and letters of recommendation. Approximately three new teacher fellows are selected each year.

To apply:

Conflict of Interest Policy:The selection of applicants is managed by the program leadership team. Immediate family members of the leadership team, UChicago faculty or the Chicago EYES on Cancer Advisory Committee are ineligible for the program. All applications will be subject to the Conflict of Interest Policy.

Program Team

M. Eileen Dolan, PhD
Associate Director for Education

Kathy Goss, PhD
Associate Director for Administration

Megan Mekinda, PhD
Assistant Director for Cancer Education

Christopher Peña, PhD
Scientific Coordinator for Cancer Education

Michelle Domecki
Cancer Education Coordinator

Steven Rogg, PhD
Professional Learning Coordinator

Chicago EYES on Cancer would not be possible without our faculty mentors and their research teams, who dedicate precious time, wisdom and laboratory resources to participants of the program. Our mentors are leaders across all areas of cancer research including basic, translational, clinical and population-based. They are also experienced educators and committed role models.

In addition to their faculty mentors, Chicago EYES on Cancer students work closely with peer mentors: University of Chicago undergraduate and graduate students pursuing careers in the biomedical field.

Our peer mentors advise on everything from laboratory etiquette to poster formatting. Most importantly, they offer valuable insight on the opportunities and challenges awaiting program participants at the very next stage of their careers.

Students & Alumni

Corazon Avila
Jaime Barraza
Alex Burr
Cristian Carpio
Catherine Collins
Sydney Cush
Russell Frye II (teacher research fellow)
Sara Melendez
Jenna Nimer
Leon Scarlett (teacher research fellow)
Summer Smith
Joel Ssupuuya
Mohmadmoin Vahora
Paula Viza Gomes

Jose Acebedo
Aysha Ahmad
Perla Grimaldo Ramirez
Linzeypearl Gyimah
Linnea Lungstrom
Rene Maldonado
Ocean Malka
Anna Martinez
Blake McBeth
Karen Munoz
Lidia Ortiz (teacher research fellow)
Zakaria Sadoun
Jennifer Sichory (teacher research fellow)

Jose Acebedo
Aysha Ahmad
Perla Grimaldo Ramirez
Linzeypearl Gyimah
Linnea Lungstrom
Rene Maldonado
Ocean Malka
Anna Martinez
Blake McBeth
Karen Munoz
Lidia Ortiz (teacher research fellow)
Zakaria Sadoun
Jennifer Sichory (teacher research fellow)

Rachel Anderson
Henry Deap
Alexis James
Megan Méndez
Crystal Mercado
Nataly Montiel
Alyce Oh
Kelly Perez
Bianca Savant

Mayra Betancourt-Ponce
Andrea Collins
Thomas D’Aprile
Lauren Delgado
Camille Johnson
Eduardo Ramirez
Celeste Sanchez
Michaela Siver

Joshua-Paul Ajayi
Janishia Calhoun
Hector Galvez
Imanol Garcia
Laura Guerrero

Oluwatomiwa Awobayiku
Abidemi Charles
Celina Nhan
Alexander Pei
Garyn Richard
Keven Stonewall
Sidney Trotter

Advisory Committee

The Chicago EYES on Cancer Advisory Committee provides strategic guidance regarding the program’s continued growth and development. It also facilitates greater integration of the program with cancer- and science-related educational opportunities within the university and partnering institutions. Its members include key stakeholders in UChicago cancer education efforts, science education experts and the Chicago EYES on Cancer leadership team.

Vineet Arora, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Assistant Dean for Scholarship and Discovery, Pritzker School of Medicine

Eric Beyer, MD, PhD
Professor of Pediatrics, Cell Physiology, Cancer Biology and Molecular Medicine

Gina Curry, MPH, MBA
Director of the Office of Community Engagement and Cancer Health Equity, UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center

M. Eileen Dolan, PhD
Professor of Medicine, Section of Hematology/Oncology
Associate Director for Education, UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dan Golden, MD, MHPE
Assistant Professor of Radiation and Cellular Oncology

Kathy Goss, PhD
Associate Director for Administration, UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center

Karen Kim, MD
Professor of Medicine
Dean for Faculty Affairs
Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement

Stephen Kron, MD, PhD
Professor of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology
Chair, Committee on Cancer Biology (PhD program)

Megan Mekinda, PhD
Assistant Director for Cancer Education, UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center

Olufunmilayo Olopade, MBBS
Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics
Associate Dean for Global Health

Steven Rogg, PhD
Associate Professor of Education, Carthage College

Nancy Schwartz, PhD
Professor of Pediatrics
Dean and Director for Postdoctoral Affairs

Julian Solway, MD
Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Director for the Institute for Translational Medicine