The low rate of faculty diversity at most institutions is in large part a reflection of the lack of diversity in the students being admitted into graduate programs. An increase in highly qualified applicants who are underrepresented minorities (URM), from disadvantaged economic and social backgrounds, or who have disabilities will serve to ultimately increase diversity of research faculty at all levels. The goal of this proposal Summer Research and Educational Program (SREP) is to not only attract and develop strong candidates for biomedical PhD and MD programs, but to instill in them a sense of excitement which will motivate them to complete the graduate programs and progress on to faculty positions with the foundations to make significant biomedical contributions. We believe that this excitement can best be accomplished through a disease-oriented, or translational, approach. Our program will take full advantage of the cutting edge research in diabetes, hypertension, pneumonia, asthma and vascular cardiology ongoing at BUSM. We propose to utilize a number of existing programs designed to create an environment that fosters individual growth, confidence and accomplishments thereby helping to pave the way for a successful biomedical career. The success of our established programs, Early Medical School Selection Program (EMSSP) and Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP), is a very good predictor for the success of our new summer program, SREP. The summer program will accept fifteen (15) applicants each year from a group of individuals who have demonstrated a strong desire to pursue a career in biomedical science. These applicants will primarily constitute individuals who are matriculating at Boston University School of Medicine as part of the Early Medical School Selection Program (EMSSP) or undergraduate students who have applied as a result of our recruiting efforts at their school, exposure at the ABRCAMS meeting or exposure through our website. The students will be integrated into a laboratory with a mentor who conducts high level research in the areas of lung, heart or blood research, and will be supported and advised by a selected mentoring team. Accepted students will also participate in reading/journal clubs as well as seminars directed at identification of role models and various career path options. At the end of their summer research experience all students will take part in Research Symposia Day where they will present their data through oral and poster presentations to Boston University School of Medicine faculty and students. We believe this is a fantastic opportunity to stimulate and foster development of future scientists as well as to enrich the cultural environment at BUSM.
Summer Research and Educational Program (SREP) is a program designed to provide a summer research experience for underrepresented minority students who are currently in the EMSSP program at BUSM or undergraduate students from various national and international colleges and universities. The program is comprised of both a research component as well as an educational component. The students will be mentored by a team approach and the program evaluated annually with feedback from all student and faculty participants.