Mechanisms of Human Health and Disease

The purpose of this program is to introduce motivated and high-achieving high school science students to college level curriculum for medical and biomedical careers.

In our 19th year, Mechanisms of Human Health and Disease (MHHD) 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 MHHD program investigate diseases with lectures from research experts. At the final class, students present their work to family and teachers. This course is lecture and activity based.


During the program, students will:

  • Discuss college-level content in cellular and molecular biology, genetic engineering, physical and medicinal chemistry, immunology, virology, biomedical information and pathophysiology.
  • Gain a competitive edge by developing life skills including networking, resume, writing, school selection, job applications, learning strategies and business communications.
  • Complete an independent project in molecular pathophysiology.
  • Complete an apprenticeship group project.
  • Explore career options in medicine and biomedical research.

Virtual Info Sessions

Join us for virtual information sessions to be held on November 13 and January 22 from 6 to 7 p.m.

Sign Up for a Virtual Session 

Attendance and Commitment

  • Students must attend and participate in all class and group project sessions.
  • Students will be required to read two books, before class begins.
  • Students prepare for final presentation by creating an outline, final paper and presentation.
  • Optional hospital-based activities in clinical medicine will be offered to students based on availability. Past experiences have included Nationwide Children's Simulation Lab, Columbus State Simulation Center, OSU Clinical Skills Lab and OSU Cadaver Lab.


Monday and Thursday evenings: June 10 – July 22, 2024 from 5:30 to 9 p.m.


Nationwide Children’s Hospital Education Center
575 South 18th St.
Columbus, Ohio 43205


No application fee. $125 per student upon acceptance. 

Snacks and refreshments are provided.


Students will be notified if they are accepted into the program no sooner than April 5, 2024.

Previous Student Successes

Mechanisms participants have enjoyed continued academic success enrolling in prestigious institutions including U.S. News and World Report top 20 ranked schools.

A Typical Class

The following is an example of a typical class period:

  • 5 p.m. Open Office Hours
  • 5:30 p.m. Speaker Panel
  • 6:30 p.m. Quiz 
  • 6:45 p.m. College Level Course Information
  • 7:15 p.m. Pathophysiology Lecture
  • 7:45 p.m. Teaching Assistant Lecture
  • 8:30 p.m. Competitive Edge
  • 8:55 p.m. Wrap-up
  • 9 p.m. Adjourn


You can apply electronically or by mail. Do not apply both ways. Students that apply both ways will be disqualified

  • Electronic: Click the link below to access the electronic application. You can go in and out of the system as many times as you want but write down your ID# so you can return to your partially completed application. Be sure to click SUBMIT when you are done. If you do not click submit, your application cannot be accepted.

    Click Here to Access the Electronic Application

  • To apply by mail, complete the application. Email, fax or land mail the completed application, including essays and reference, to, fax (614) 355-0670 or Community Education, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, 700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, OH 43205. Mail applications must be postmarked no later than February 12, 2024 at 8 a.m.

    Click Here to Download an Application

  • Late or partial applications will NOT be accepted. No exceptions.

Student Selection

Students are selected by a panel of researchers, physicians and administrators at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and former MHHD students based on a holistic review. Applications are evaluated through a blind review process.

Top Student

The top student is given the opportunity to participate in an internship at the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (AWRI). The top five students present their project at AWRI. 


Contact Marcie Rehmar at or (614) 355-0662.

Summer Scientist Education Series

As part of the MHHD experience, participants attend this lecture series held on Thursdays at 4 p.m. for further exposure to research, medicine and careers. 

Click Here to Review Former Lectures On-Demand

Eligibility and Selection

Eligibility & Selection


Class is designed for incoming seniors currently enrolled in 11th grade. Other students who meet the prerequisites will be considered.


High school biology and chemistry. No exceptions will be made. Students must have access to a personal electronic device such as a laptop or tablet (not a school-issued device) to participate.

Application Due

The application must be postmarked or completed online by February 12, 2024 at 8 a.m.

Class Size

We will accept up to 30 qualified students for summer 2024.