The Short Term Education Program for Undergraduate and Predoctoral students, STEP UP in Health-related Research is designed to offer research training to academically qualify underrepresented students. The research training focuses in the areas of interest to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The program represents an institutional initiative utilizing a well known multidisciplinary research environment at Temple University School of Medicine. The STEP UP takes advantage of the infrastructure of the existing research centers at Temple such as 1) the Sol Sherry Thrombosis Research Center which focuses on research related to platelet function, blood coagulation, neutrophil activation and fibrin formation, and 2) the Cardiovascular Research Center with research related to the function of the cardiovascular system. The faculty of the program is comprised of 21 well recognized researchers at Temple. The program provides the students with: 1) direct exposure to biomedical research via hands-on experience while working on a project in the areas of hematology and cardiovascular research, 2) productive interaction with the mentors, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, 3) information on biomedical careers, 4) guidance in choosing multiples pathways leading to a biomedical research career and 5) information on the health-related research network. The students will work in the laboratories of the mentors for 8-weeks during the summer and will be given the opportunity to continue their training in consecutive years. The STEP UP Program will introduce the students to health-related research, scientific integrity, scientific thinking, critical evaluation and documentation, analysis of results, training in radiation and chemical safety, bloodborne pathogens, animal care, use of the medical library and GRE preparation. The students will participate in a seminar series and journal club and will present their research projects at the final seminar and at any appropriate research conference(s) of the scientific community. Specific plans will be implemented for recruitment, selection, retention, tracking and evaluation procedures. In summary, the primary objective of the STEP UP in Health-related Research is to offer a rewarding experience in the research environment to minority students in the areas of interest to the NHLBI to foster a long-term commitment to pursue a professional graduate career.
Demographic trends in the U.S. demonstrate that minorities and women, while being highly underrepresented in biomedical sciences which drive economic growth, represent the nation's largest source of American intellectual resources for the not-so-distant future. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau and NSF demonstrate that individuals who today are referred as minorities will soon constitute the majority of the college-age population and then the majority of the total population of the United States. In the year 2000, minorities constituted one in three members of the college-age population and about 24% of the total population of the U.S. The NSF projects that minorities will constitute 38% of the college-age population by 2025. Thus, Increasing Access and Broadening Diversity of Student Bodies and Faculties in Biomedical Fields is A National Imperative
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