Mechanisms of Human Health and Disease Summer Program for High School Students :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Mechanisms Of Human Health And Disease

Established in 2006, Mechanisms is a fast-paced, in-depth program designed to challenge the serious science student who is interested in medicine or medical research. Students in the Mechanisms program investigate cancer and other disease topics with lectures from research experts. At the final class, students present their research paper to family, teachers and researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. This course is lecture and activity based, there is no lab component.


Introduce motivated and high-achieving high school science students to college level curriculum for medical and biomedical research careers.


At the end of the program, the students are able to:

  • Explore career options in medicine and biomedical research through career speakers.
  • Discuss college level content in biology, chemistry, cellular and molecular biology, genetic and genetic engineering, physical and medicinal chemistry, immunology, virology, biomedical information and pathophysiology.
  • Enhance skills to gain a competitive edge including networking, college selection, resumes, job applications, learning style and business communications.
  • Complete an independent project in molecular pathophysiology.
  • Complete an apprenticeship group project for a selected career path.


Class is designed for incoming seniors currently enrolled in 11th grade. Other students who meet the prerequisites will be considered. The average GPA of students accepted into the program is over 4.0.


High school biology and chemistry.

Class Size:

We will accept up to 30 qualified candidates into the summer 2016 class.

Attendance and Commitment:

  • Students must attend and participate in all class and group project sessions.
  • Students spend an average of 10-15 hours each week on readings, research and papers outside of class.
  • Students will be required to read two books. One must be completed before class begins.

In a survey given to participants 83% reported Mechanisms was the most challenging experience in their academic career.


Monday and Thursday evenings: June 13 – July 25, 2016 from 5:30 - 9 p.m.


Nationwide Children’s Hospital Education Center
700 Children’s Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43205


  • $100 per student.
  • Snacks and refreshments are provided. Limited partial scholarships available.
  • No application fee.

Previous Student Successes

Mechanisms participants have enjoyed continued academic success enrolling in prestigious institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, and Yale. Top students have been offered an opportunity to become first author on a research project with a Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Investigator. Five have had their papers published in a scientific journal and then used for entry into the Young Epidemiology Scholarship (YES) competition.

A Typical Class:

The following is an example of a typical class period:

  • 5:30 p.m. Open Office Hours
  • 6:00 p.m. Speaker Panel
  • 7:05 p.m. Snack Break
  • 7:15 p.m. Quiz
  • 7:25 p.m. Pathophysiology Lecture
  • 7:45 p.m. College Level Course Info
  • 8:05 p.m. Enrichment Activity
  • 8:20 p.m. Teaching Assistant Lecture
  • 8:35 p.m. Competitive Edge
  • 9:00 p.m. Adjourn


Students will be notified of their acceptance into the program no sooner than May 1, 2016.


Student Selection:

Students are selected by a panel of researchers and physicians at Nationwide Children’s Hospital based on the caliber of their program application and essays. Applications are evaluated through a blind review process.

Top Student:

The top student from each class is given the opportunity to participate in an internship at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The top 5 students will receive dedicated mentorship and are invited to return the following year as a teaching assistant.


Contact Marcie Rehmar at
(614) 355-0662

Here’s what some of our past participants had to say

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000