METRA Program 

Medicine, Ethics, Technology Research Associates (METRA)

Mission statement:

METRA creates space for students with technical skills and an interest in medicine to gain exposure in technologically oriented medical research with faculty at UCLA Health. Our goal is to shape the next generation of physicians and AI researchers in developing ethical AI for applications in medicine. 

How are we unique:

METRA augments the traditional path for undergraduates to get involved in technically demanding medical research with ethical technologist training and certification. We partner with research labs and healthcare organizations by having qualified students work to build research teams supporting the work undertaken by medical professionals utilizing AI and/or data science. Before joining their labs, student researchers will be trained by METRA in both ethical technology principles and the technical skills required by the lab. The shared goal of our student research associates is to contribute to different data science research projects in medicine. METRA members are to be certified as ethical technologists through third-party certification exams prior to joining research labs.

Lab Partnerships:

Dept: DGSOM Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
PI: Saimak Rahman, MD
Contact: Zhi Dong, MD

Sponsors/Collaborations:

AIRES National

UCLA Health 
DGSOM
NVIDIA 
Clara Guardian and Imaging

Research Coordinator Role Expectations: 

The primary objective of any METRA member is to fill the research role that the lab requires.  Their secondary objective breaks down into a tripartite approach. First, to understand the lab’s research in which they work and to present (through posters, presentations etc.) to other METRA members. Second, to support the METRA project by participating in committees (research, mentorship, professional development, data analysis, ethical implementation). Lastly, to produce summarizations of their research work (drafting background guides that detail operations) and development plans for research, educational programming, and ethical work protocols for new METRA members to learn from and build upon. Through this process, METRA will have living documents that grow alongside the program and serve as a written benchmark of the work of the METRA project.

Success Benchmarks:

Quarterly poster presentations
Yearly presentations at the annual AIRES Conference
Biquarterly METRA Meetings
Bimonthly Coordinator Meetings with PIs
Potential publications with primary researchers

Beta Testing:

The METRA program is currently undergoing beta testing with the Rahman Lab in the DGSOM Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine before opening the program to recruitment. However, if you are interested in becoming a beta testing research associate for METRA, please contact us directly at airesnational@gmail.com with a statement of interest and your CV.

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