The Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation has donated $50,000 to help College of Medicine M.D. students with their Focused Individualized Research Experience (FIRE) projects.

Dr. Deborah German, vice president of medical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine devised the FIRE projects as a way for students to create new scientific discoveries in an area of interest to “keep the dream alive.” M-1 and M-2 students are conducting research projects on a variety of topics, from whether teaching dementia patients to play the violin helps them keep more of their mental faculties to improving the design of military helmets used in conflicts such as the Iraq War.

“We believe, as you do, that the focused individual research experience is a critical part of the medical school curriculum,” said David A. Odahowski, president and CEO of the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation. “This investment in the future doctors of our community is in addition to the almost $300,000 of support the Foundation has provided to the University of Central Florida College of Medicine for scholarships and general operating support.”

Dr. Steven Ebert, associate professor at the College of Medicine’s Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences and director of the FIRE Module, said research costs can include lab supplies, publication costs, incentives for recruiting patients and travel. All College of Medicine expenditures must be scientifically justified as part of the student’s research proposal and are subject to scientific and financial review.

“There are a wide variety of costs associated with medical student research projects,” Dr. Ebert said. “This gift from the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation is outstanding news.”