Summer Program In Diabetes & Obesity Research (SPIDOR)

SPIDOR is an in-resident 10-week NIH/NIDDK (R25-DK112738) funded summer research experience providing outstanding underrepresented students interested in science and medicine an opportunity to gain meaningful exposure to the exceptional research and clinical programs at the Keck School of Medicine (KSOM) of USC. 

Summer scholars will conduct cutting-edge diabetes/obesity research in the laboratories of faculty members from the USC Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute (DORI). Participants will be exposed to basic science, translational, and clinical research experiences. The summer session culminates with students presenting their research findings to the KSOM community at large.

Application is now closed

Program Runs May 30 through August 4, 2023

Program Director – Dr. Joyce Richey, PhD
Phone: 323-442-1939

Program Director – Richard M. Watanabe, PhD
Phone: 323-442-2053

Program Administrator – Christina Ayala, MPH
Phone: 323-442-2500

Program Eligibility

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or DACA student
  • Be an underrepresented student as defined by the NIH
  • Completed at least 2 years of undergraduate studies
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.0 or greater

Selection will be based on:

  • An essay
  • Two faculty letters of recommendation
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Exhibit leadership qualities
  • Official Transcript(s)

Program Highlights

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Can letters of recommendation and transcripts be submitted after the deadline?

Yes, as long as your application form with your essay are submitted by the deadline, your application will be considered on-time. However, recommendation letters and transcripts are due the week after the application deadline.

  1. Can I still apply if I’m graduating in May 2023 (or prior)?

Yes, your application is welcomed as long as you are not accepted into a postbac or graduate program. Please use your essay to explain how this program aligns with your future in diabetes/obesity related research.

  1. If accepted into the program, is it mandatory to live in provided housing?

In an effort to encourage full immersion into the program, yes, it is mandatory.

Spidor Ceremony Presentations

  • 2022
  • 2021
  • 2019
  • 2018

DORI Pilot Program

The DORI pilot program was implemented to establish a track record in pilot funding and to build a critical mass of collaborative research. Pilot awards funded through DORI have supported new investigators, career development, new technologies, and team science. Since 2013, the DORI pilot program has invested $635,000 on funding a total of 13 awards supporting 11 pilot projects, two of which received a second year of support.

Principal Investigators of the pilot studies come from a diverse background and their work characterizes the integrated and translational theme of the DORI.  DORI pilot projects have been successful in producing high-impact findings, and awardees have demonstrated a high success rate in translating their work into larger, externally funded projects.

We aim to reduce these social & health disparities through the development of novel precision options for treatment & prevention tailored to ethnicity & stage of life

Clinical & translational research in patient populations served by USC

Convergent science to harness & leverage unique resources & expertise across KSOM& USC through a diversity of disciplines

Effective health behavior strategies built on community engagement

Our Main Focus

Obesity and diabetes are major health burdens especially in poor and under-represented minorities. DORI establishes a unified vision across University of Southern California (USC) focused on:

DORI’s Unique Focus on Disparities
in Obesity & Diabetes

Annual DORI Symposium

Check out the latest in diabetes research from our 2020 DORI Symposium; featuring doctors, scientists and researchers from top universities and research institutes across the globe.