One of the current goals at the University at Buffalo (UB) is to increase the number of underrepresented faculty, researchers, undergraduate, and graduate students in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. The goal of the current application is to increase the number of underrepresented graduate students in these areas by 4 per year, amounting to a total of 20 during the funding period. This goal will be accomplished by enrolling students from underrepresented populations who have the motivation, talent and ability to succeed, but who are not fully prepared to enter a specific graduate program in the area of biomedical and behavioral sciences at UB (including the departments of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences [IGPBS];the Departments of Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Oral Biology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Psychology;and the Graduate Division at Roswell Park Cancer Institute). The strength of the program will be the design of an individualized curriculum complemented by a Professional Development Catalyst Series course, Research Communication Workshops, and faculty and peer tutoring and mentoring. We will enhance mentor/protigi relationships and provide the essential psychosocial and academic support system for the successful completion of the PhD degree, competition for external fellowship awards, and admission to training grants (T32). IMSD programs, by design, will provide an integrated and collaborative learning atmosphere to facilitate the crucial first fe years of the students'graduate program and their transition into competitive graduate students with skills to rise beyond expectation. UB's IMSD program will gear them to secure competitive postdoctoral research positions and to successfully participate in leadership positions beyond graduation by enhancing oral and written communication skills and scientific presentations at local and national meetings, by becoming members of and participating in the activities of scientific societies and by timely publication of scientific findings. We anticipate that the progrm will catalyze UB's transformation into one of the leading institutions to adapt to underrepresented minority teaching and learning needs by providing a rich, intellectually diverse environment aimed at seamlessly integrating the student to faculty development programs which aligns well with the UB2020 vision. This will be accomplished through a collaborative partnership with the office of the provost, multicultural affairs diversity programs, and administration officials. The success of the program will be measured by the quality of peer-reviewed publications and presentations at scientific meetings, research and fellowship awards, and successful transition of our graduate students to postdoctoral research and leadership research positions in academia and industry in biomedical and behavioral science, and an increase in the number of applications for faculty positions and graduate programs from underrepresented individuals.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development is to facilitate successful completion of PhD degrees in biomedical and behavioral science of individuals underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. Training and educating students from underrepresented populations towards the achievement of graduate degrees in science will create a diverse work force to solve health problems. This next generation of health care professionals and scientists will initiate research to discover important treatments and/or disseminate concepts and solutions that will shape policy affecting minority populations and would facilitate bridging the gap in health disparities.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Education Projects (R25)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Minority Programs Review Committee (MPRC)
Program Officer
Janes, Daniel E
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
State University of New York at Buffalo
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Gancarz, Amy M; Wang, Zi-Jun; Schroeder, Gabrielle L et al. (2015) Activin receptor signaling regulates cocaine-primed behavioral and morphological plasticity. Nat Neurosci 18:959-61