Summer Diversity Research Mentorship Program

The Department of Surgery sponsors summer research positions for underrepresented minority students with an interest in surgery at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. 

Selected candidates gain regular experience in the OR, mentoring from an attending surgeon, and join a research project studying health disparities.

Fellows receive a $3,000 stipend ($1,500/month) for their participation.

Our inaugural class of Research Fellows spent the Summer of 2021 gaining real-world surgical experience and inaugurating a community-based participatory research project with Fruit Belt residents and health system partners.

7% of all academic surgeons in the United States come from backgrounds considered underrepresented in medicine (African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander).  The Department of Surgery is committed to expanding our efforts to support and encourage underrepresented minority medical students to join our department.  We recognize the importance of mentorship — of help and guidance at the earliest stages.  This Fellowship is a keystone of our targeted mentorship initiative and aims to introduce medical students to surgery and related research opportunities. This and other efforts will shape the next generation of surgery at UB and help build a department that reflects the communities it serves.

(L to R) Dr. Timothy Adams, Nigel Marine, Abena Ansah-Yeboah, Dr. Stuti Tambar, Mario Carrillo.

(L to R) Dr. Timothy Adams, Nigel Marine, Abena Ansah-Yeboah, Dr. Stuti Tambar, Mario Carrillo

"Having the opportunity to join the first cohort of Surgery Summer Research Fellows was unarguably one of the most inspiring and thought-provoking experiences I have been a part of since beginning my medical school career. 

The program provided a unique and balanced blend of developing fundamental surgical skills; providing one-on-one exposure to and mentorship from extremely talented and down-to-earth faculty members; while also taking a deep dive into local Buffalo neighborhoods—in particular the complex history and nuanced relationships between the Fruit Belt and Medical Campus --- in order to determine how to best clinically serve the residents in a manner that is holistic, patient-centered, and long-standing. 

Our team was deliberate in pausing to reflect, reassess, and re-strategize our research methods and goals each step of the way in order to ensure that we were carrying out our work in a manner that was not invasive and extractive, but focused on forming trust, prioritizing collaborative thought, and developing long-term solutions to positively impact the residents we aim to serve while reframing the quintessential surgical mindset in how to best treat members of the communities that we serve. 

The creation of this program was a strong first step in the right direction of addressing the glaring racial and ethnic gap between physicians within the field and the patients they serve, and I am proud to see efforts such as these becoming increasingly prioritized across JSMBS departments.

On a personal level, as a black woman interested in a highly competitive field with little to no prior knowledge or social capital, it was incredibly beneficial and meaningful to me to be able to share my interests, express my curiosities, and gain confidence in my voice and skills while navigating various academic, clinical, research-based, community-driven, and residential spaces throughout the summer.  And I was able to do this through the open, respectful, and thoughtful environments cultivated by all the faculty, physicians, and community members invested in this program and project. 

The best part of the summer was, undoubtedly, the wide array of individuals I was able to meet and work with --- from passionate, high-impact local leaders to renowned, strongly committed surgeons and residents --- but, most importantly, the connections I made with the lovely members of my cohort. I have no doubt this experience will continue to positively shape the trajectory of my medical career, and I am excited to see how the next cohort continues to build on this summer's groundwork."

-Abena Ansah-Yeboah

“It was a truly enlightening and humbling experience to participate in the Summer Research Fellows Program. As a student exploring the field of surgery, I was drawn to this program for its emphasis in not only further exposing me to the in-and-outs of the career, but also its unique dedication to community engagement and partnership with the Fruit Belt Neighborhood of East Buffalo. It was amazing to be able to spend my summer learning first-hand from attending and resident surgeons as I observed procedures, attended clinic hours, and practiced tangible skills such as suturing, hand-ties, and laparoscopic techniques. However, some of the most meaningful days were those spent listening and learning from members of the Fruit Belt, understanding the history of their community and the challenges they have faced.”

-Mario Carrillo

“The Surgery Summer Fellows Program opened my eyes to the struggles that people around the school are enduring, and it put me in a position where I could begin toi do something to help.  In addition to the community work, I was able to spend a few days a week in the OR and get that firsthand look at what we all want to do in the future. Thanks to hands-on training from an excellent surgical resident, we were able to learn the basics: how to scrub; how to suture and tie surgical knots; how to operate laparoscopic tools in a controlled setting.  I learned so much and I attribute it all to this fellowship and to those individuals that made it possible to enjoy such a fulfilling summer.”

-Nigel Marine

Call for Applicants

This is an opportunity to gain valuable experience working on a research team and to develop close relationships with attending surgeons and trainees.  It is ideal for those who are seriously considering surgery as a career.


This is an opportunity to gain valuable experience working on a research team and to develop close relationships with attending surgeons and trainees. 

It is ideal for those who are seriously considering surgery as a career.


  • Mentorship with an attending surgeon — including time in the OR and in clinic
  • Research experience under the tutelage of a faculty member
  • One-on-one surgical skills coaching 
  • Weekly reading/discussion group with surgical residents
  • Invitation to institutional lectures, grand rounds and departmental conferences 
  • The opportunity to present their summer research to program peers, residents and faculty at the 2023 Research Forum

Application Requirements

In addition to your application, each applicant must have a Letter of Recommendation, submitted by a faculty member by Friday, March 29, 2024.

Faculty should email their letters of recommendation directly to the Director of Surgical Education (below).

Due Date

Submit your application by Friday, March 29, 2024.


Please address any questions to:

Director of Surgical Education

Michael Lamb, MD.

Michael Lamb, PhD

Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

955 Main Street, Room 7153 Buffalo, NY 14203