2023 MSTP ACCESS scholars pose for a picture on the front steps of Washington University, Danforth Campus. Top Row (LtoR): Alexis Negron, Amy Callirgos, Sarah Dunivan, Natalie Cornejo, Angel Obiorah, Skyla Owens, Nicole Dallas, Kaie Hall, Daniel Kang.

“This experience has transformed my stance on research. I now aspire to become a physician-scientist. I am excited to care for patients, formulate patterns to conduct research, and improve patient outcomes.”

Jalalah Muhammad
MSTP ACCESS Scholar, Summer 2022 Cohort

The MSTP ACCESS Summer Research Program at Washington University in Saint Louis is designed for undergraduate students to enhance their understanding of physician-scientist career paths. Scholars gain hands-on experience in biomedical research laboratories and can shadow top clinicians in their field.

In addition to the laboratory experience, scholars attend lectures and discussions to enhance their understanding of the current status of biomedical research, the pathways available for entering a Medical Scientist Training Program, and the range of available career opportunities.  

Clinical Shadowing is another key and unique facet of our program. While on the Medical School campus, scholars participate in laboratory research but are also given the opportunity to shadow Washington University Physicians in clinical spaces.

“Being able to shadow physicians in multiple fields was one of my favorite parts – I had never done any shadowing before the program, so my entire knowledge was based off of the care I had received as a patient. I am so thankful to have been in this program.”

Day Steed,
MSTP ACCESS Scholar, Summer 2022 Cohort


The MSTP ACCESS Research Symposium is an opportunity for scholars to present what they have learned through their research experiences to a larger audience. It is also a space for mentors, faculty, and the community to discuss cutting-edge research

Each scholar’s family receives up to a $500 travel award to attend the Scientific Symposium. The day of the symposium begins with a breakfast for the families, and then keynote speakers discuss their path to a physician-scientist career. ACCESS scholars then present their summer research project to their families, ACCESS lab mentors & administrators, and MSTP students. Next is a lunch reception for the ACCESS scholars, lab mentors, and MSTP ACCESS student volunteers. The day ends with the opportunity for ACCESS scholars to lead their families on tours of the medical school campus and lab facilities they’ve worked in during the summer.

“Family is incredibly important, and they are often our scholar’s first teachers. Physician scientists are important not because they are practicing medicine, but advancing medicine through science. So, it is imperative that scholars receive that ongoing support from their family as they move forward on a journey that is very important for us as a society.”

Brian Sullivan
MSTP Executive Director

Social Activities

MSTP ACCESS Summer 2022 Cohort, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, June 11, 2022
World Premier Awakenings

Whether ziplining through leafy trees, going to a Saint Louis Cardinals Game, or having an opportunity for a night at the Opera, scholars are encouraged to participate in several social events during the summer. MSTP ACCESS Summer Research Program fosters a welcoming culture where everyone is valued and respected while working collaboratively within our strong, close-knit community.

This view allows scholars to bring their unique experiences and identities to their lab, clinical, and social environments. Scholars participate in weekly journal clubs and workshops that teach them various skills. They also have a monthly social activity guide and calendar that helps plan their lab/clinical downtime.

Some of the activities scholars participated in during their stay are:

  • Zip Lining @ Go APE
  • Opera Theater Saint Louis – AWAKENINGS
  • Glass Blowing @ Third Degree Glass Factory
  • Pottery Wheel Throwing @ South Broadway Studio
  • Cardinals Game @ Busch Stadium
  • Six Flags

“Seeing the scholars enjoy being in the labs, while also being curious and confident during clinical physician shadowing was a pleasure. I can also say that seeing them in more informal settings like the “Pottery Jam” or Cardinals game was a treat. It allowed MSTP administration to connect to our scholars more deeply than strictly within an academic environment.”

Rakiyah “Rocky” Talavedra
MSTP Coordinator, Diversity and Community Engagement