The USC IMSD program was initiated in April 2006. One successful strategy was to use IMSD funds to provide funding for UR students in the first year of a Ph.D. program in the biomedical sciences. Since the UR applicants were no longer competing with the non-UR and international applicants, we were able to take a chance on UR students who were not as well qualified on paper as most non-UR domestic applicants. As a result of this strategy, the number of UR students in USC Ph.D. programs in the biomedical sciences has increased by 140%. We expect this number to continue to increase since UR students have been 21% of the IBMSGP total admissions for the past two years. This year, UR students who have been supported by the USC IMSD program have begun to complete their doctoral degrees. The first to graduate has already published four research papers, has four more submitted, and is now a post- doctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins University Medical School. During the next two years, we expect that six to eight additional UR students will complete their Ph.D. degrees. With continued funding, we anticipate that the number of UR students graduating from USC biomedical programs will reach at least seven per year, making a significant contribution the number of the UR students graduating with biomedical science doctorates in the United States.
The USC IMSD program will increase the number of minority students who earn Ph.D. degrees in the biomedical sciences in the U. S. One consequence of this increase in minority scientists will be a more diverse biomedical research workforce that will be in a better position to provide the insights needed to address the problems of health disparities.
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