The T-35 NIAAA Grant is a short-term summer research program for American Indian medical students to work jointly with mentors at 10 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism-funded alcohol research centers and Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences to conduct studies focused on making alcohol research more rigorous and reproducible. A critical need exists to increase the number of American Indian physician-scientists, and our institution is uniquely suited for this program.
This summer, I worked on the NIAAA T-35 grant under Dr. Matt Vassar. I am so grateful that this opportunity exists to expose Native American medical students to alcohol research. Throughout this year, I will be analyzing how drinking patterns differ between adolescents of high and low socioeconomic status. This research question is valuable because alcohol is the most commonly used drug among adolescents. The T-35 grant has given me a foundation to ask meaningful research questions, collaborate with other researchers, and develop a strategy to analyze data. I am thankful for these skills because, as a future physician, I aspire to continue my involvement in research to use the most up-to-date evidence-based medicine to treat my patients. – Kirstien Minley, OMS-II