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Program Overview

   Directed by James Rosenbaum, MD, Edward Neuwelt, MD, Richard Rosenbaum, MD, Tammy Martin, Ph.D., Leslie Muldoon, Ph.D., Hayleigh Ast, ND, and Sofia Vignolo, BSc this program introduces high school students to the scientific process, encourages student's scientific passion and fosters a relationship between researchers and the local community. Our students are passionate about scientific inquiry and continuously ask the question "why?" Since the start of the pandemic, we are in a world where the question of “why” does not only enter scientists' lives daily, but also everyday workers, teachers, and students. Given this predicament, we are entering our 23rd year of the PSI Program virtually, which means we can accept student applications from all across Oregon.


Our program accepts Sophomore, Junior, and Senior high school students who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine or biomedical research through a 16-week course from February 1st, 2023 - May 17th, 2023 6pm-8pm. Students are introduced to the scientific process and gain access to research scientists from OHSU and other Portland research institutes. The semester-long program typically ends with a summer internship working alongside a research mentor, which requires students to be at least 16 years old.


About the PSI Course


We meet for two hours on Wednesdays (February-May) for a lecture series and to learn about ongoing research projects conducted by scientists at Oregon Health & Science University. Each student will be mentored by a researcher. Each student gains firsthand knowledge of research methods, and, with their mentor's help, will present a published research article in a journal club format and develop their own research proposal. The program requires regular attendance and significant time commitment outside of class for homework and research proposal development. Students may elect to do laboratory or clinical research over the summer. PSI was developed and is offered by the program directors on a voluntary basis. Research faculty volunteer their time and resources to mentor PSI students. We work closely with local high school officials to reach out to students interested in science and medical research and to arrange for high school credit earned by participating in the class.

AT the LAb

Course Changes in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

All classes will be held virtually via Zoom

The class will continue completely virtually. Guest lectures will still be available. However, there may be more recorded lectures to watch followed by a discussion and a question/answer session with the presenter

Summer Internship

Given the pandemic, there is no guarantee for a summer internship

As always, the internship phase is only for students successfully completing the course. There is no guarantee that students will be allowed to act as volunteers in labs at OHSU as part of the Summer Internship aspect of the course. We have had a few motivated students complete their summer internships virtually and found similar satisfaction as completing the research in person. Our goal is to work with mentors to make internships this summer remote as needed. 

If OHSU allows in person internships next summer we must abide by the guideline below:


Visitors and volunteers who have an in-person experience at OHSU must be fully vaccinated (14 days after last dose). Exception requests from visitors and volunteers will not be accepted. Please be prepared to provide proof of vaccination, or to receive a Covid-19 vaccination, as a requirement for onboarding for your in-person experience at OHSU. You will not be allowed to participate within OHSU if you are not compliant with this policy.

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