Search Close Search
Search Close Search
Page Menu

Diabetes Virtual Camp for Future Scientists and Physicians Created by the Family of UMass Diabetes Researcher Jason Kim

virtual-diabetes-camp.jpg
Jason Kim, PhD, with daughters Lauren (holding Teddy), Allison, and wife Jayne 

The laboratory of Jason Kim, PhD, at the UMass Chan Diabetes Center of Excellence, investigates obesity, diabetes and its complications. Their research goal is to understand how inflammation develops in obesity and causes type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Kim’s daughters Allison and Lauren are also considering careers in medicine and science. When Lauren’s 2020 summer research internship at Harvard Medical School was canceled due to the pandemic, the family created Diabetes Virtual Camp to connect students and experts as an online internship.

“The Diabetes Virtual Camp that my two daughters and I created in May of 2020 came together quickly and reached hundreds of college and high school students across the world,” said Dr. Kim, Professor in the Program in Molecular Medicine, and Director of the Metabolic Disease Research Center at UMass Chan Medical School. 

Past Participants

The past six virtual sessions included more than 2,200 students from 46 countries and 48 U.S. states. They represented more than 550 colleges & universities worldwide who participated in the free Zoom-based sessions.

Many of those students were underrepresented minorities living with type 1 diabetes or who have family members with diabetes. “We’ve partnered with the American Diabetes Association and have raised thousands of dollars for diabetes research, education and care,” added Dr. Kim. “Our mission is to support diabetes education and inspire a new generation of physicians and scientists.”

Volunteer Diabetes Experts from UMass Chan Medical School

Among the diabetes experts who have participated in the program's past sessions are UMass Chan Diabetes Center of Excellence co-director David Harlan, MD, the William and Doris Krupp Chair in Diabetes, and Michael Czech, PhD, the Isadore and Fannie Foxman Chair of Medical Research and Professor in the Program in Molecular Medicine. 

“I was amazed at how quickly the first virtual program came together and reached so many students globally through the power of social media, and the credit goes to my daughters,” said Dr. Kim. “Lauren was already immersed in the virtual world through her high school’s remote learning, and she realized how we could use technology to reach more people than ever imagined.”

Although the virtual program was born in response to the pandemic, the Kim family is grateful that it has continued to reach thousands of students across the world who would not have otherwise had an opportunity to learn about diabetes from renowned experts. They plan to continue the program as a valuable educational tool to inspire the next generation of physicians and scientists.

Diabetes Virtual Summer Camp 2024

Summer Camp 2024 will be a 15 session program held between July 19 - August 2.  Free online registration will be available July 1-15.  The research internship program invites high school, college, graduate, and professional students, as well as trainees, researchers, physicians, and other health professionals, who are interested in learning about biomedical research and academic medicine with a focus on diabetes research and care.  The sessions will highlight current diabetes research and treatment topics as well as an academic career path in medicine and science.

The program is free to all registered attendees with a suggested donation to the American Diabetes Association. To regiister or for more information, visit diabetesvirtualcamp.org.

More Diabetes Center of Excellence News