The 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 continuation 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 proposes to recruit and support four minority graduate students in the biomedical field that will promote collaborative and interdisciplinary projects and publications, a well as provide everyday training and mentoring of the IMSD undergraduates. The IMSD Undergraduate Scholars are matched with Faculty research Mentors and a graduate student according to their research interest and the research productivity of the mentors. Nine measurable goals are used for program evaluation to meet NIH and institutional objectives: (i) 20 LSU junior IMSD Scholars perform 15 hours per week of biomedical research for 9 (academic) months per year;the LSU IMSD Ph.D. students (second year or higher) in a STEM discipline will work 50% time, the maximum allowed for standard appointment at LSU, (ii) presentation of at least two lectures or posters 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 75% of the students, (iv) at least 95% attendance at all IMSD events and mandatory attendance at designated Program Activities, (v) selection and invitation by IMSD students of three internationally 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 3.0 GPA for full-time course loads, (vii) mandatory 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 80% success rate in graduate school placement and/or biomedical research employment. Our Program emphasizes a publication-targeted and "team approach" to laboratory work and enhanced Scholar- Scholar and Scholar-Faculty interactions/collaborations. The students meet twice a month for research meetings and workshops to address student needs, and for educational enhancement activities. In addition the IMSD students attend level-dependent individualized computer training sessions at the LSU START training center, conduct high school outreach activities, attend IMSD special events, and 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 and expand our efforts in the training and mentoring of underrepresented minority LSU undergraduate and graduate students, and to prepare them for careers as leading biomedical researchers.
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