We shall seek out, nurture, and train honors students in STEM majors related to biomedical disciplines of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics for entry into strong graduate programs with the ultimate goal of graduation with a Ph.D. degree in their chosen field. The program will be research intensive, each student working in a group with our finest research faculty for a period of up to 24 months with the experience culminating in the mandatory writing and oral defense of a research Thesis. The student will be expected to attend scientific meeting, initially as an observer to familiarize themselves with the culture and design of such meetings, and later to present their research results to the chosen scientific community. Along with the research exposure and training the students will have special focused classes on Bioethics and Responsible Conduct of Research. The Bioethics course will be taught by faculty from the Department of Philosophy and will be a specific course focused on the MARC students, intense and intellectually broad as befits students with aspirations of the Ph. D. degree and later research-oriented careers. The Responsible Conduct of Research will be part of a weekly Introduction to Research course and will be directed by the PD, as a more hands-on day to day inquiry into the pitfalls open to the research community. It will include examples of the crime and the punishment as evidenced from the NIH Office of Research Integrity and the related NSF office. The Introduction to Research class will also involve a series of Conversations with Scholars where our top University Scholars come for informal sessions to describe their work, and their personal stories en route from student to faculty, and the hurdles faced and overcome. The students will be encouraged to participate in a summer research experience off-campus in the knowledge that many of our students have little or no experience outside our somewhat isolated region and the received understanding that their home laboratory and training and personal talent makes them competitive for graduate school is often of great importance to their development. Such experiences can be special programs organized by many Universities for this student audience; National Laboratory Programs, e.g. DOE, DOD, or special arrangement made by the research director. Finally we have designed two classes Bioinformatics and Entrepreneurship in Science as two key experiences to enhance their training and career ideas/options.

Public Health Relevance

This proposal seeks out, trains, and mentors outstanding underrepresented students for careers in the biomedically related Sciences. The program is focused upon an intensive 24 month (junior and senior) UG research experience, culminating in an oral defense a Thesis. Special courses in ethics (philosophy), the responsible conduct of research, bioinformatics and science- entrepreneurship are included as is a summer off-campus research experience. The goal of the program is to have all graduates from the program enter graduate school and progress on to earning a Ph.D. for subsequent entry into biomedical research-oriented careers, academic, industrial or National laboratories/classrooms, thereby increasing the manpower in the USA for finding new approaches to curing disease and general betterment of the Health of the Nation.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
MARC Undergraduate NRSA Institutional Grants (T34)
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Study Section
NIGMS Initial Review Group (TWD)
Program Officer
Koduri, Sailaja
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University of Texas El Paso
Schools of Arts and Sciences
El Paso
United States
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