Molecular Medicine in Action

Helping Indiana high schoolers explore careers in science and medicine.

Molecular Medicine In Action (MMIA) is a FREE of charge annual program that was developed by representatives of the Riley Children’s Foundation, the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, IU School of Medicine, the Indiana Association of Biology Teachers, and the Hoosier Association of Science Teachers. Their hope was to inspire high school students interested in pursuing careers in science by providing a real-world look and hands-on experience with cutting-edge medical research that will revolutionize healthcare in the 21st Century.

The MMIA program seeks a diverse group of talented students who have demonstrated interest and potential in science. The selected cohort will spend two days learning about the latest techniques in molecular biology, cytogenetics, and cancer therapy, including analysis of gene expression, imaging technology, and modulation of cancer cell growth. 

Our overarching goal of the symposium is to increase students’ excitement for science, increase the number of students that ultimately select science as a career choice, and provide hands-on learning in a state-of-the art medical research environment.

The Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research is committed to providing students with a program experience full of diverse thoughts, perspectives, and abilities. Applicants from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. As the nation's largest medical school, IUSM is committed to being an institution that not only reflects the diversity of the learners we teach and the patient populations we serve, but also pursues the values of diversity, equity and inclusion that inform academic excellence.

Applications are currently closed.

 Applications are currently closed. Applications for the Spring MMIA 2025 program will open in the Fall of 2024. Please contact with questions.

What participants are saying about MMIA

Past participants shared their thoughts following their experience in the Molecular Medicine in Action Program:

“I am so grateful to have been a part of this opportunity!” - Hannah from Newburgh
“I found the program really informative and helpful. It was definitely a nice way to get people an opportunity to experience science careers.” - Lucia from Indianapolis
“The program was amazing, and I would do it again in a heartbeat!” - Addie from Mooreland
“The only thing that could have made it better was if it was longer!!” - Victoria from Evansville
“This program was extremely well- organized and catered to various interests and aspects in the medical/research field.” -Jui from Avon
“This program helped me narrow down the career field I want to go into.” - Francisco from Indianapolis
This program was 100% worth my time. I am very grateful for the science I got to see, the lectures I got to hear, and the new people I got to meet. I had a lovely time making memories that will last me a lifetime. ” - Selena from Bremen
The MMIA program was worth my time because I got the opportunity to take a deep dive into multiple different areas of scientific research so that I could decide what area of research I am most interested in. I really enjoyed learning about the research on malaria.” - Anya from Roanoke
MMIA was an enlightening program that facilitated my love for the research environment. I believe that medical research is now a career pathway that I hope to one day be apart of. Thank you so much for providing me with this opportunity!” - Vincent from Bloomington

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Molecular Medicine in Action?
    Molecular Medicine in Action is a two-day, hands-on program for Indiana high school sophomore, junior and senior students. Participants will learn about goals and methodologies that are applied by scientists at IU to investigate the molecular, cellular and genetic mechanisms that contribute to diseases, including cancer, diabetes, stem cells and angiogenesis.
  • What are the application requirements?
     Note: Applications for the 2023 program are currently open until November 11, 2022.

    To apply to the MMIA program, you must be an Indiana high school student (grade 10-12) and able to attend BOTH days of the program on Sunday, March 5 and Monday, March 6. 

    Before you apply, you will need:
    • The name and email address of your nominating teacher
    • The name, address and phone number of your current high school
    • Your school principal's name
    • The email address of your parent/guardian
    • A brief (250-word max) essay is required: Why do you want to participate in this program and why should you be selected?

    Additionally, be prepared to answer questions related to your extracurricular and volunteer activities and completed science courses. 
  • What are MMIA’s goals?
    • Increase students’ excitement and awareness for education and career opportunities in science
    • Provide hands-on learning in a state-of-the art medicine and allied health environment
    • Increase the number of students that ultimately select science as a career choice
  • What will I learn if I am selected?

    At MMIA, you'll explore the breadth of educational pathways and career opportunities in medicine and science. You'll meet scientists, clinicians, counselors and professors at IU School of Medicine and IU Health. You'll also learn about various case studies, concepts and methodologies that are actively used in IU research laboratories at the Wells Center.

  • What will I do during MMIA?

    Molecular Medicine in Action features engaging group discussions on current events in science, such as infectious diseases, genetics, bioethics, and careers in science in medicine. Additionally, students will participate in hands-on experiments in active laboratories at the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, including those that focus on cancer, diabetes, immunology, cytogenetics, and more!

    • Work side-by-side with IU School of Medicine researchers and physicians in laboratory work stations
    • Learn where we are in the fight against cancer and diabetes
    • Learn how modern molecular biology techniques are used for gene discovery, mutation analysis and cellular function
    • Meet and interact with top scientists and other high school student from across the State of Indiana
  • Who supervises MMIA?

    MMIA is jointly organized by a team of faculty and staff at the Wells Center and a committee of Indiana science teachers. During the event, teacher volunteers and a team of IU faculty and staff are committed to supervising the event and keeping student participants safe.

  • What is IU's policy on in-person events?
     Large events hosted at Indiana University (including Molecular Medicine in Action) must adhere to university health and safety policies, which remain fluid due to the ongoing pandemic. Currently, there are no policies that advise against in-person events for spring 2023. Selected applicants and their parents/guardians will be notified of event changes as they arise.
  • What are IU's guidelines for campus visitors, including MMIA participants and teacher volunteers?
    For information on health and safety conduct while participating in the program, view Indiana University’s guidance for campus visitors.
  • My question isn't answered here. Who can I contact?
    For questions related to Molecular Medicine in Action, contact MMIA Program Coordinators Katie Jackson and Haley Stults at
  • Westin Parking
    You MUST park valet at The Westin Indianapolis hotel on Sunday, March 5th. The MMIA staff will give you a parking validation ticket that will pay for your parking after you have dropped off your student. There will be NO parking reimbursement on Monday, March 6th. You will use the curbside pick up area to pick up your child. Please reach out to Katie Jackson with any questions.