The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) IMSD program was prompted by a self-study that indicated underrepresented minority (URM) undergraduates in STEM-H majors and PhD students in the biomedical sciences were underperforming in their academic programs.
The aims of the original proposal were focused on PhD students in the biomedical sciences and Biology undergraduates and were largely designed to increase (a) numbers of URM biology majors who remained in the major, participated in undergraduate research, enrolled in biomedical PhD programs after completing the degree, and completed the PhD in biomedical disciplines and (b) improve academic performance and research productivity of URM students in the biomedical sciences. During the current period of support we have made significant progress towards achieving these goals. The program supported 23 URM undergraduates who participated in mentored research and provided academic/ career counseling to these individuals and countless more through the Undergraduate Research Coordinator in Biology, a position developed through a partnership between VCU-IMSD, VCU-MARC, and the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences. Both of the IMSD Undergraduate Scholars have finished the degree to date are pursuing additional training in the biomedical sciences. Seventy five percent of supported VCU-IMSD PhD students are making good progress towards their degrees and the first of these individuals will complete the PhD in spring or summer of 2013. We view these data as evidence that VCU-IMSD """"""""is working"""""""", but also recognize the need for further program development to increase our success rate and improve the quality of the experience that we provide to trainees. To accomplish those goals, the specific aims of this competitive renewal are: (1) To provide mentored research experiences for 16 IMSD Undergraduate Scholars/ year and 4 IMSD PhD students/ year, (2): To use both well-tested and novel strategies to increase academic success of IMSD trainees, (3) To design and deliver enrichment activities that develop trainees'critical thinking/ problem solving skills, improve communications skills, increase awareness of careers that complement their interests and personalities, (4) To ensure that at least 60% of IMSD Undergraduate Scholars enroll in competitive PhD programs in the biomedical sciences, (5) To ensure that e 90% of IMSD Scholars who enroll complete PhD programs in the biomedical sciences, (6) To use aggressive recruiting strategies to increase URM applications to the Biomedical Sciences Doctoral Portal by 100%, and (7) To increase productivity of URM PhD students to be comparable to that of their peers. Focused mentoring and careful selection of research mentors will be used to enhance productivity of IMSD PhD students. We believe our aims are achievable and consistent with the goals of the IMSD Program """"""""to develop the pool of a diverse group of highly trained undergraduate and graduate students who go on to research careers and will be available to participate in NIH-funded research.""""""""

Public Health Relevance

The future of medicine depends on biomedical research and the new discoveries that research brings to disease mechanisms. However, disparities exist, not only in healthcare and disease but also in the researchers who push biomedicine forward. The VCU-IMSD program is intended to address this disparity by increasing the number of underrepresented minorities who pursue PhD level training in biomedical research.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Type
Education Projects (R25)
Project #
2R25GM090084-05
Application #
8636834
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (TWD)
Program Officer
Janes, Daniel E
Project Start
2010-03-15
Project End
2018-01-31
Budget Start
2014-04-01
Budget End
2015-01-31
Support Year
5
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$345,225
Indirect Cost
$22,951
Name
Virginia Commonwealth University
Department
Biochemistry
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
105300446
City
Richmond
State
VA
Country
United States
Zip Code
23298
Martin, Barry Lee; Conley, Sabena Michelle; Harris, Regine Simone et al. (2016) Hypoxia Associated Proteolytic Processing of OS-9 by the Metalloproteinase Meprin β. Int J Nephrol 2016:2851803
Guedia, Joy; Brun, Paola; Bhave, Sukhada et al. (2016) HIV-1 Tat exacerbates lipopolysaccharide-induced cytokine release via TLR4 signaling in the enteric nervous system. Sci Rep 6:31203
Zhu, Qing; Li, Xiao-Xue; Wang, Weili et al. (2016) Mesenchymal stem cell transplantation inhibited high salt-induced activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in the renal medulla in Dahl S rats. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol :ajprenal.00344.2015
Kolawole, Elizabeth Motunrayo; McLeod, Jamie Josephine Avila; Ndaw, Victor et al. (2016) Fluvastatin Suppresses Mast Cell and Basophil IgE Responses: Genotype-Dependent Effects. J Immunol 196:1461-70
Abebayehu, Daniel; Spence, Andrew J; Qayum, Amina Abdul et al. (2016) Lactic Acid Suppresses IL-33-Mediated Mast Cell Inflammatory Responses via Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1α-Dependent miR-155 Suppression. J Immunol 197:2909-17
Conley, Sabena M; Abais, Justine M; Boini, Krishna M et al. (2016) Inflammasome Activation in Chronic Glomerular Diseases. Curr Drug Targets :
Enga, Rachel M; Jackson, Asti; Damaj, M Imad et al. (2016) Oxycodone physical dependence and its oral self-administration in C57BL/6J mice. Eur J Pharmacol 789:75-80
Paranjape, Anuya; Chernushevich, Oksana; Qayum, Amina Abdul et al. (2016) Dexamethasone rapidly suppresses IL-33-stimulated mast cell function by blocking transcription factor activity. J Leukoc Biol 100:1395-1404
Seashols-Williams, Sarah; Lewis, Carolyn; Calloway, Chelsea et al. (2016) High-throughput miRNA sequencing and identification of biomarkers for forensically relevant biological fluids. Electrophoresis 37:2780-2788
Qayum, Amina Abdul; Paranjape, Anuya; Abebayehu, Daniel et al. (2016) IL-10-Induced miR-155 Targets SOCS1 To Enhance IgE-Mediated Mast Cell Function. J Immunol 196:4457-67

Showing the most recent 10 out of 26 publications