The overall goal of the REBUILD Detroit program is to create a consortium of 4 insittuions (University of Detroit Mercy, Marygrove College, Wayne County Community College District and Wayne State University) in downtown Detroit to work together to train underrepresented minority students to be tomorrow's leaders in biomedical research. The research enhancement portion of the REBUILD Detroit program oversee three aspects of the bigger project. First, it provides funds to equip the INSPIRE labs at UD Mercy and WCCCD to provide state of the art spaces for inquiry-based learning and early entry into undergradaute research. Second, it revamps curricula entry-level curriculum at all four institutions to provide authentic research experiences in first year courses for BUILD Scholars. These courses, designed around the Research Coordination Network (RCN) model, provide distributed projects in which students colllect real research data rather than perform canned pedagogical exercises, teaching science the way we do sciene. Those data get integrated over multiple sites and multiple years until research papers can be published using those data. These courses encompass the fields fo analytical chemistry (2nd semester general chemistry), bioinformatics and genomics (second semester in the biology curriculum) and a course in health disparities taught in either the sociology or psychology department depending on the school. Finally, students transition from the RCN course into mentored research experiences during the summer after their first year which then persist throughout their college years. High impact practices such as early entry into authentic undergraduate research is one of the key factors in developing self-identity as a scientist and leads to greater graduation rates and higher persistence in science majors among under-represented and economically disadvantaged students. Finally, enhanced mentoring of both the students and the faculty across all institutions will help to elevate the scholarly productivity across all four campuses while respecting the different academic cultures that exist across the consortium. These activities are fully integrated with those fo the other Cores within the REBUILD Detroit program.
Biomedical research has led to amazing discoveries over the decades. These discoveries are a credit to the prowess of our scientists. However, a large portion of our population feels disenfranchised from this field. The greatest creativity and advancement will come from a biomedical workforce that fully embraces our diversity. REBUILD Detroit aims to provide experiences that prepare underrepresented students to pursue biomedical careers through early, consistent and intentional interventions throughout their college years.