High School Internship Program in Integrated Mathematical Oncology (HIP IMO): Five-Year Experience at Moffitt Cancer Center

Bull Math Biol. 2020 Jul 9;82(7):91. doi: 10.1007/s11538-020-00768-1.


Modern cancer research, and the wealth of data across multiple spatial and temporal scales, has created the need for researchers that are well versed in the life sciences (cancer biology, developmental biology, immunology), medical sciences (oncology) and natural sciences (mathematics, physics, engineering, computer sciences). College undergraduate education traditionally occurs in disciplinary silos, which creates a steep learning curve at the graduate and postdoctoral levels that increasingly bridge multiple disciplines. Numerous colleges have begun to embrace interdisciplinary curricula, but students who double major in mathematics (or other quantitative sciences) and biology (or medicine) remain scarce. We identified the need to educate junior and senior high school students about integrating mathematical and biological skills, through the lens of mathematical oncology, to better prepare students for future careers at the interdisciplinary interface. The High school Internship Program in Integrated Mathematical Oncology (HIP IMO) at Moffitt Cancer Center has so far trained 59 students between 2015 and 2019. We report here on the program structure, training deliverables, curriculum and outcomes. We hope to promote interdisciplinary educational activities early in a student's career.

Keywords: Cancer; Education; High school; Interdisciplinary; Mathematical modeling; Oncology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Curriculum*
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Research / education
  • Interdisciplinary Studies*
  • Male
  • Mathematics / education*
  • Medical Oncology / education*
  • Neoplasms
  • Organizations, Nonprofit
  • Schools
  • Students