This proposal provides short-term experience and training in biomedical research for undergraduate students from underrepresented and disadvantaged groups. The Principal Investigator, Judith S. Bond, PhD, is an NIDDK funded investigator for more than 30 years. She is a past member and chair of an NIH Study Section, past member of the NIDDK Advisory Council and immediate past president of ASBMB. The plan provides background and hands-on experience in research related to the mission of NIDDK. In order to increase the number of underrepresented minority and disadvantaged students pursuing careers in biomedical research, it is necessary to address both content knowledge and technical skills, as well as attitudinal and perceptional barriers to success. To achieve this goal, we have brought together a team of basic and clinical scientists, and science educators. This team has a record of ongoing collaborations within The Pennsylvania State University System to improve K-16 science education, and between The Penn State College of Medicine and Lincoln University, one of the nation's oldest Historically Black Universities. The objectives of the proposal are that students will (1) learn, through hands-on experience, how discovery research is conducted and the results are disseminated to others, (2) explore careers in biomedical research and become familiar with the requirements to pursue selected career options (3), become proficient in using the Internet to acquire reliable information and to exchange ideas and information, and (4) learn about the prevention, cause and treatment of obesity, diabetes, and kidney/urologic diseases. The curriculum will also include discussions on normative standards of conduct, privacy and confidentiality issues, laboratory safety, research integrity, record keeping, data management, and communication skills. Our colleagues at Lincoln University and the Penn State Harrisburg campus are key in identifying and recommending college students that will benefit from the experience, and have a good probability of proceeding through the pipeline into an independent career in biomedical science. Although the primary goal of this proposal is to increase the number and competence of members of underrepresented groups in biomedical research, an important secondary benefit is to expand the proportion of underrepresented population who understand that life-style decisions have great consequences for their personal health and that of their family, friends and community.
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