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In September 2007 a new initiative for high school students interested in careers in the health sciences was launched by "Cell Signals,”1 a research-training program of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The “Synapse Outreach Network in Cell Signals2 (SONIC) offered young people the rare opportunity to participate in mentoring relationships with scientists of international stature, hear personal stories of Cell Signals trainees that demonstrated how novel ideas in science lead to exciting research projects, learn about emerging careers in health research, and to develop important self- and career-management skills though privileged access to an experienced career specialist and consultant.

A complementary website was created to support communication and interaction, and to enable young, aspiring, health researchers to share the excitement of pursing further education and their dreams of life as scientists. One feature of the site was “SONIC Coach,” a column that offered practical advice (monthly) and profiles of emerging careers in health research (bimonthly). Until funding for the SONIC program ended in 2008, the articles were accessible through a link to the SONIC site from the Cell Signals homepage. The complete set of articles (September 2007-May 2008), written by Peggy A. Pritchard (as SONIC Coach), is now available in these three collections.4

1 “Cell Signals” is the short title for “Health Applications of Cell Signaling in Mucosal Inflammation & Pain.” This doctoral training program was launched in the first wave of CIHR strategic training initiatives (2002) and has received continuous funding to 2014.

2 Funded by the CIHR3 and conducted in partnership with the Canadian Biotechnology Education Research Centre (now called Bioscience Education Canada) and, the Manitoba Network for Science and Technology (Mindset; no longer in existence).

3 Supported by grant SYN-83013 from the CIHR Synapse Youth Outreach Program.

4 When these articles were originally published, all links were live. Given the dynamic nature of the Internet, some may no longer be up-to-date.

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