The proposed MARC-USTAR Program represents a continuation of the efforts by St. Mary's University to become a significant producer of underrepresented minority biomedical research scientists. The institutional long-term goal for the Program is to increase the number of underrepresented minority students majoring in biology, chemistry/biochemistry, biophysics and engineering, who enter and complete doctoral research programs in the biomedical sciences. In order to achieve this goal, the following objectives have been established for the proposed funding period: (1) to increase the number of applicants available to the MARC program by providing numerous pre-program opportunities, (2) to increase the number of MARC trainees in our program from 6 to 10 over the next five years, (3) to provide trainees with a strong academic foundation by enrolling students in a specified set of courses, (4) to enhance the ability of trainees to critically read and intepret the scientific literature, (5) to enhance the research skills of trainees by providing both academic year and summer reseach opportunities, (6) to develop trainee disciplinary socialization skills by enabling trainees to participate in science and service-related activities, (7) to increase the number of trainees entering and completing research doctoral programs, and (8) to increase the opportunities for St. Mary's University faculty members to engage in the academic year research with MARC trainees. Proposed activities include providing trainees with a rigorous science curriculum, performing academic year research, arranging summer research experiences at research-intensive institutions for trainees, developing a Scientific Methods &Analysis course, conducting a biomedical research workshop and seminar series, and arranging trainee attendance at scientific meetings. Students participating in this training program will be qualified to pursue doctoral studies in chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, cell and molecular biology, physiology, microbiology, epidemiology, and other biomedical sciences. The successful attainment of the stated goal will contribute to the enhancement of the racial and ethnic diversity of the biomedical research community, which in turn will contribute to the eventual elimination of health care disparities.
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