Funding is requested for five years to support 40 trainees per year in the MARC U*STAR Program at UMBC. The primary goal of this program is to provide experiences for underrepresented minority students to develop their interest in research careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, and mathematics. The program aims to provide a comprehensive system of financial, educational, and career development support to ensure trainees develop strong backgrounds in both didactic course work and research to enable a smooth and successful transition from UMBC to competitive graduate programs at highly ranked institutions. Students with majors in Biological Sciences, Bioinformatics, Mathematics &Statistics, Computer Science, Psychology, Biochemistry &Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Engineering will be recruited at the end of their second sophomore semester. The Program begins immediately with a summer research internship. Then, in the junior and senior academic years, students will take academically challenging courses, participate about 10 hours per week in research with a faculty mentor at UMBC or a nearby institution, and take required courses designed specifically for MARC trainees in scientific writing, and research ethics and policy. In the summer between the junior and senior year the students will do a second research internship. At least one of the summer research internships must be at an institution other than UMBC. Trainees will also meet with successful faculty from competitive institutions with top-level graduate programs, and be mentored in career choices, selection of graduate school and developing successful admission applications. MARC recruitment will target (i) academically-talented students at UMBC from underrepresented minority groups, and (ii) transfer students from community colleges in the area surrounding UMBC. Admission eligibility will require a 3.2 cumulative GPA, a minimum of 60 college credits, and commitment to a research career in biomedical, behavioral, or mathematics research. Trainees must maintain a 3.2 cumulative GPA in an approved major, and comply with program requirements. Program design, participant selection and quality evaluation will be guided by the MARC Steering Committee and administered by the MARC Program Director (who has trained >100 undergraduate students in his lab) with the assistance of the full-time MARC Program Coordinator. Additional resources are requested for program evaluation and assistance to trainees for their graduate school admissions process.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed project is relevant to public health by contributing to the training of future researchers in biomedical and behavioral science and mathematics and statistics. This will contribute to discovery of disease mechanisms and development of new therapies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
MARC Undergraduate NRSA Institutional Grants (T34)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Minority Programs Review Committee (MPRC)
Program Officer
Hagan, Ann A
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Maryland Balt CO Campus
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
Zip Code
Sigl, Verena; Owusu-Boaitey, Kwadwo; Joshi, Purna A et al. (2016) RANKL/RANK control Brca1 mutation-driven mammary tumors. Cell Res 26:761-74
Keane, Sarah C; Van, Verna; Frank, Heather M et al. (2016) NMR detection of intermolecular interaction sites in the dimeric 5'-leader of the HIV-1 genome. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113:13033-13038
Hoffman, Kathleen; Leupen, Sarah; Dowell, Kathy et al. (2016) Development and Assessment of Modules to Integrate Quantitative Skills in Introductory Biology Courses. CBE Life Sci Educ 15:
Kamenskiy, Alexey; Seas, Andreas; Bowen, Grant et al. (2016) In situ longitudinal pre-stretch in the human femoropopliteal artery. Acta Biomater 32:231-7
MacTaggart, Jason N; Poulson, William E; Akhter, Maheen et al. (2016) Morphometric roadmaps to improve accurate device delivery for fluoroscopy-free resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta. J Trauma Acute Care Surg 80:941-6
Jayachandran, Pradeepa; Olmo, Valerie N; Sanchez, Stephanie P et al. (2016) Microtubule-associated protein 1b is required for shaping the neural tube. Neural Dev 11:1
Nagiah, Naveen; Johnson, Richard; Anderson, Roy et al. (2015) Highly Compliant Vascular Grafts with Gelatin-Sheathed Coaxially Structured Nanofibers. Langmuir 31:12993-3002
Keane, Sarah C; Heng, Xiao; Lu, Kun et al. (2015) RNA structure. Structure of the HIV-1 RNA packaging signal. Science 348:917-21
Tran, Thao; Liu, Yuanyuan; Marchant, Jan et al. (2015) Conserved determinants of lentiviral genome dimerization. Retrovirology 12:83
Ribeiro, A; Balasubramanian, S; Hughes, D et al. (2013) β1-Integrin cytoskeletal signaling regulates sensory neuron response to matrix dimensionality. Neuroscience 248:67-78

Showing the most recent 10 out of 40 publications