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

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 first five virtual sessions included more than 1,800 students from 38 countries and 48 U.S. states. They represented more than 400 colleges around the world  participating in free Zoom-based sessions..

Many of the students were underrepresented minorities living with type 1 diabetes or 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

Diabetes experts who have participated in the program's past sessions include UMass Chan Diabetes Center of Excellence Co-Chair 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 Fall Camp 2023: September 9-24

Diabetes Virtual Fall Camp is a three week research internship program that invites high school, college, graduate, and professional students, as well as trainees, researchers, physicians, and other health professionals, interested in learning about biomedical research and academic medicine with a focus on diabetes research and care. The 14 Zoom 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 register or for more information, visit

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