Dr. Jerry Guyden
During my 30 years here at the City College of New York, I have attempted to achieve two goals. First, I wanted to study the function of thymic nurse cells (TNCs), and second, to provide a safe and judgment-free zone to introduce young minds to science. TNCs are stromal epithelial cells of the thymic cortex. They are very unusual, because they internalize up to 200 developing T cells into specialized “cytoplasmic” vacuoles. Of equal importance is my commitment to training students for careers in science. We have successfully trained 71 young men and women from several different ethnic backgrounds and races (Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian) in my laboratory. Forty-eight were minority students. Individuals were trained at all levels of the educational process, from undergraduate to postdoctoral fellow.
Twenty-four of the students from underrepresented communities now have either a PhD or an MD or both degrees. Twenty-four are still in the pipeline. Our training methods have been successful and require the development of teams of people representing several different cultures and ethnic backgrounds working together toward accomplishing a scientific goal. Individuals working together day-to-day develop common ground and establish lifelong relationships that will influence the cultural makeup of the next generation of scientists. I will continue to address the issue of preparing the next generation of scientists in the United States, which should include a significant increase in the number of individuals from all ethnic and racial backgrounds.