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The Emergency Medicine Research Associates Program (EMRAP) is a clinical research program in conjunction with the UC Irvine Biological Sciences 199 research opportunities program at the UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif. Founded by Dr. Federico Vaca in 1997, EMRAP provides UC Irvine undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students with a unique opportunity to contribute directly to research projects in Emergency Medical Services and our Level 1 Trauma Center through first-hand experience with patient interaction and close faculty mentorship from the UC Irvine School of Medicine.
During each four-hour shift, students interface with patients, families, and physicians to obtain consent and collect data for multiple studies, with tasks ranging from performing ultrasound imaging on patients to providing a computerized alcohol screening and brief intervention to trauma victims. Research associates also gain knowledge in the methodology of clinical and epidemiological research through a parallel academic program, led by EMRAP Director Dr. Wirachin Hoonpongsimanont and Faculty Advisor Dr. Shahram Lotfipour. While participating in EMRAP, students can pursue leadership opportunities by serving as Research Study Liaisons for chosen projects and thereby play a key role in the implementation and integrity of research protocol for that study.
All EMRAP associates are encouraged to take full advantage of UC Irvine’s extensive undergraduate research opportunities, from applying to grant funding from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program to presenting their results through the School of Biological Sciences Excellence in Research program. In addition to being an integral part of the workings of the Department of Emergency Medicine, EMRAP strives to prepare students as future leaders and healthcare professionals and to foster greater understanding of clinical emergency medicine and our community’s public health needs.
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