13th RCMI International Symposium on Health Disparities

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Community Engagement in Research

For the 2012 RCMI Symposium, a major program session has been devoted to the issue of increasing high school students (9-12) interest in health sciences and biomedical research. The Community Engagement Committee has put together a program for high school students, their parents, and teachers that draws upon the unique resource of the RCMI community. Students will interact with health research leaders and rotate through different events such as demonstrations of advanced technology (proteomics and genomics) and hands-on activities. The students will also participate in interpreting and analyzing scientific data obtained by RCMI researchers using high school students as subjects, aimed at helping to solve health disparities that affect our communities. Moreover, students will join the rest of the Symposium attendees in visiting poster and exhibit presentations guided by knowledgeable scientists.

Students who participate are expected to:

  1. Increase knowledge of health issues and scientific approaches being used to address them;
  2. Enance understanding of the scientific strategies used to analyze research data leading to new discoveries that could minimize health disparities;
  3. Improve professional skills in communication and critical thinking; and
  4. Develop interest in a health-related career.

The RCMI Programs of the medical schools of Puerto Rico (Ponce School of Medicine, Universidad Central del Caribe, and University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus) have collectively established this community outreach program under the umbrella of a Community Engagement Committee. The committee includes a variety of scientific backgrounds (clinical, basic, technical, administrative, and educational) in order to develop an interactive program that will emphasize in each activity the link between basic, clinical, and translational disciplines, and help students appreciate the important of this relationship in improving the health of our communities.


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