Gladstone seeks to increase diversity in biomedical research by providing eight summer research opportunities for undergraduate students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. Our program, Promoting Underrepresented Minority Advancement in the Sciences (PUMAS) aims 1) to increase the number of underrepresented minority (URM) students who receive baccalaureate degrees in science and 2) expand and diversify the future graduate school student population. Our ultimate goal is to increase the number of well-trained URM biomedical research scientists. The PUMAS program will recruit two types of undergraduates. First, we will recruit students attending 4-year colleges and universities from our Gladstone Summer Scholars (GSS) high school internship program. GSS students have already experienced one summer experience working in Gladstone laboratories;therefore PUMAS will reengage these already targeted URM students who have completed their first year of undergraduate work to pursue their passion for biomedical research. Second, we will recruit students attending community college who intend to transfer to a 4-year university. We will partner with the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Transfer Alliance Project (TAP) to identify URM students at community colleges in the San Francisco/Bay Area. We will seek students who have completed most of their math and science requirements and are looking to transfer to a science program at a 4-year school. For eight weeks, PUMAS participants will be paired with a scientific mentor at Gladstone to work on a specific research project. They will spend 80% of their time conducting biomedical research, including independent research activities, one-on-one mentoring, laboratory meetings, scientific lectures, seminars, journal clubs, and other academic and professional development activities. They will spend 20% of their time participating in supplementary educational activities. This includes weekly workshops on topics such as preparing graduate school applications, primer on grad school life, and a series of public speaking practice sessions geared towards improving student's scientific communication skills. PUMAS students will also participate in a 20-hr Laboratory Skills Bootcamp and a three-class series on the responsible conduct of research. The PUMAS program will culminate with a poster session in which students describe their work, hypothesis and results to the scientific community at Gladstone and UCSF. A student's passion for a scientific career must be cultivated both during and after a laboratory internship experience. Thus, Gladstone will continue to engage students in a variety of follow-up activities, such as securing a successive summer research experience at Gladstone or at other institutions and assisting students with applications for competitive fellowships in both college and graduate school. Ultimately, the aim is to increase the number of URM students pursuing biomedical research as a career.
Gladstone is located in Mission Bay, adjacent to the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), a biotech mecca of stimulating scientific careers. For several years, Gladstone has worked to introduce high school students from underrepresented minorities to career possibilities in science and now wants to expand its successful program to undergraduate students. With its laboratory internships and educational activities, the PUMAS program will encourage participants to pursue undergraduate and graduate science degrees, thereby expanding the number of diverse biomedical researchers.