For the past 15 years, the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine has been strongly committed to increasing the diversity within the biomedical research workforce. Minority and disadvantaged scientists are particularly underrepresented in modern clinical and basic science research and few such individuals are encouraged to embark upon academic careers. Early exposure to research opportunities through the Short Term Research Education Program to Increase Diversity in Health-Related Research provides a mechanism to enrich the experiences of minority and disadvantaged students at the college and medical student level to establish a foothold in science that may provide the underpinnings for further career development in biomedical research. Support is requested to fund an 8-week undergraduate program in research focused on the diseases and treatments thereof of the heart, blood vessels, blood, and lungs. Minority and disadvantaged students will be recruited from a national pool and an online application will be used to collect data for evaluation of candidates by the PSOMER Steering Committee. The selected participants will be of exceptional scholastic ability and motivation for biomedical research. Support is also requested to fund a 12-week medical student program in research in the scientific areas mentioned above. Minority and disadvantaged medical students enrolled at Pritzker who express an interest in considering an academic medicine career will be selected for a research opportunity by the Pritzker Summer Research Steering Committee on the basis of the merit of the research proposal, strength of the mentor, and the soundness of the research plan to be accomplished in the time available to the proposed project. The goals of both programs are to help to initiate careers in biomedicine among minority and disadvantaged students, and thus a rigorous tracking plan is to be implemented to evaluate the success of the program. Continuation of the mentored environment at the University of Chicago is fostered through the association of the programs with the Bowman Society at Pritzker.
The aim of this measure is to support the development of inclined minority individuals to pursue academic career pathways. It meets bimonthly and has the potential for nurturing participants who have been exposed to biomedical research early in their careers in medicine.
Pipeline programs that give an early introduction to motivated and well-prepared minority and disadvantaged students have the potential to address the lack of diversity in biomedical research. Two programs supported by the NHLBI Short Term Research Education Program to Increase Diversity in Health-Related Research conducted at the University of Chicago will provide undergraduate and medical students with the opportunity to become involved in high-quality, hypothesis-driven research in hopes of fostering their desire for pursuit of academic/research careers.
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