The Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences Program responds to RFA-HL-16-008 and seeks to continue its nearly 25-year tradition of excellence initiated under the aegis of the original NHLBI T35-sponsored short term minority training programs. In the past fifteen years, our program has trained 237 undergraduate students who are members of groups recognized by NIH as underrepresented in biomedical science. All of these trainees have completed their undergraduate degrees or remain enrolled. Continued contact with nearly 97% of these alumni reveals that after graduation 70% have entered graduate health science degree programs and a total of 90% are engaged in the biomedical workforce. In the coming period, we will build on this record of success by providing an intensive 10-week mentored summer research experience with a focus on cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases and issues of direct concern to NHLBI. The training program will be informed by educational scholarship as well as biomedical science. Research will be supplemented by training in oral and written communication through experiences that build skills and enhance self-confidence. Trainees will be exposed to the ways basic science can directly impact health through a Clinical Connections Workshop and learn about the breadth of biomedical science careers through sessions on IDPs and career planning. A group of 40 faculty members whose research is aligned with the NHLBI mission will train 15 undergraduates each summer. A formative and summative evaluation plan will support the program and be used by the Directors and the Program Steering Committee to modify the program as appropriate.
Improving the health of the American people, especially in the area of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disorders and related conditions, relies on a strong biomedical workforce that is prepared to address these health problems through basic and translational research. Our program trains talented undergraduates from groups underrepresented in biomedical science. The program philosophy is based on findings from educational scholarship. We offer a rich summer research experience with in depth career mentoring of talented undergraduates thereby preparing our trainees for advanced study in biomedical research. Our students learn to understand key health issues related to the NHLBI mission and come to understand how these problems can be addressed through research.
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