The renewal and continuation of the MBRS IMSD program at Louisiana State University will ensure the training of twenty upper-level underrepresented minority undergraduate Scholars per year for careers as biomedical researchers. LSU has established a national reputation for increasing the numbers of underrepresented doctoral students entering academics and industry, and a number of programs exist aimed at the education and retention of minority undergraduates particularly in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. Our goal is to continue to extend this success by providing training of minority undergraduate and graduate students in areas of interest to the NIH. The renewal of the LSU IMSD program will continue to service the needs of minority undergraduates with a specific interest in advanced biomedical research training. Furthermore the LSU IMSD program would also recruit and support four minority graduate students in the biomedical field that will promote collaborative and interdisciplinary projects, as well as assist with the everyday training of the IMSD undergraduates, including the use of biomedical-related instrumentation and facilities. The IMSD undergraduate Scholars will be matched with faculty research preceptors and a graduate student according to their research interest and the productivity of the mentors. Nine measurable goals are used for program evaluation to meet NIH and institutional objectives: (i) 20 LSU junior or senior IMSD Scholars perform 15 hours per week of biomedical research for 9 (academic) months per year;the LSU graduate students (second year or higher) will work 50% time, the maximum allowed for standard appointment at LSU, (ii) presentation of at least one lecture or poster per year on the student's research at a major regional or national scientific meeting, (iii) co-authorship of at least one peer-reviewed publication by at least 90% of the students, (iv) at least 95% attendance at IMSD meetings, seminars, and relevant events, (v) selection and invitation by IMSD students of three nationally renowned scientists per year who specialize in areas of interest to the students and the program, (vi) each of the IMSD Scholars maintaining at least a 3.3 GPA for full-time course loads, (vii) participation in high school outreach activities and on-line discussion forum, (viii) IMSD Scholars having at least a 90% graduation rate within four years for B.S. degrees, and (ix) the IMSD Scholars attaining at least a 90% success rate in graduate school placement and/or biomedical research employment. Our Program emphasizes a "team approach" to laboratory work and enhanced Scholar-Scholar and Scholar- Faculty interactions. The students will meet twice a month during each semester for research meetings and workshops to address student needs and concerns and for educational enhancement activities. In addition the IMSD students will attend level-dependent individualized computer training sessions at the LSU START training center, will conduct high school outreach activities, will attend IMSD special events, and will host an on-line forum discussion site for students and professionals currently performing biomedical research.
This proposal addresses the shortage of trained underrepresented minorities in biomedical research fields. In partnership with the NIH, we plan to continue our recent success in training and mentoring underrepresented minority undergraduate and graduate students and prepare them for careers as leading biomedical researchers.
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