The ultimate goal of the proposed MARC U*STAR Program is to increase the percentage of Xavier University graduates who pursue doctoral degrees in the biomedical sciences. The Program plans to achieve this goal by increasing the number of African American students at Xavier and in the surroundingcommunity who are interested in biomedical research as a career, and preparing Xavier students in the STEM disciplines for success in graduate school with a strong undergraduatecurriculum and research training program. In order to improve the existing curriculum, three curriculum enhancement projects are proposed: development of a course in neurobiology;development of a two-course sequence in mathematical modeling inbiological systems;and infusion of biostatistics content into the existing course in epidemiology. Key features of the student training program include: intramural and extramural research experiences;travel to regional and national scientific meetings;giving presentations on their research;a biomedical seminar series;participation in a technical writing course;participation in career roundtables and journal clubs;interactions with successful MARC alumni;serving as teaching assistants in their respective departments;participating in community outreach programs with local K-12schools;and training in the responsible conduct of research. If successful, this program will have a significant impact on the number of African Americans who obtain PhDs in biomedical science. It is important to have a diverse pool of PhDs available to train and serve as role models for our increasing diverse population. It is also important to have a diverse pool of scientists working on health issues in a society where large disparities in the healthcare system still exist.
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