The future of biomedical research depends on access to a diverse pool of well-trained scientists who are prepared to tackle the research challenges of the 21st century. The first step in generating this pool is to have a cadre of enthusiastic, ambitious, diverse and creative educators who have the capacity to reach out to their students and inspire them to pursue careers in research. The challenge of identifying and training these educators is acute. Many of the universities that strive for broader inclusion also lack the resources and research infrastructure necessary to attract the best and the brightest young educators. Because postdoctoral training typically focuses on research, potential educators often face challenges in developing both the teaching skills and research portfolio necessary to be competitive for faculty positions. The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) IRACDA program is designed to address both of these issues. The program has two major goals. The first is to prepare postdoctoral fellows for faculty positions through career development in both cutting edge research and pedagogy. VCU IRACDA Scholars perform research with experienced and well-funded mentors at VCU, and obtain hands-on mentored teaching experience at one of our partner institutions, Virginia Union University (VUU) and Virginia State University (VSU). VCU, VUU and VSU are not only geographically close, but have a decades-long history of collaborating in teaching and research projects. The second goal of VCU IRACDA is to enhance the research culture of the partner institutions, by developing courses and providing research opportunities for students and faculty. These goals will be accomplished through the following specific aims: (1) Identify at least 20 qualified applicants and annually recruit 3 excellent postdoctoral fellows to the 3-year VCU IRACDA program, (2) Provide VCU IRACDA Scholars with intensive career development in research and teaching, (3) Enhance the curricular offerings at our partner institutions through courses with a strong foundation in current research trends and methodologies that will enhance relevant knowledge and interest in research-related careers among students and faculty, and (4) Implement a rigorous evaluation and tracking system for longitudinal follow-up of VCU IRACDA Postdoctoral Scholars and the undergraduate students and faculty at partner institutions.

Public Health Relevance

There is a pressing need to make the biomedical research enterprise in the US more inclusive. With our dedicated team of teaching and research mentors, comprehensive and rigorous career development regimen, and talented pool of postdoctoral Scholars, VCU IRACDA is making significant contributions to this effort.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Physician Scientist Award (Program) (PSA) (K12)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
NIGMS Initial Review Group (TWD)
Program Officer
Rubio, Mercedes
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Virginia Commonwealth University
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Hyer, Molly M; Phillips, Linda L; Neigh, Gretchen N (2018) Sex Differences in Synaptic Plasticity: Hormones and Beyond. Front Mol Neurosci 11:266
Martin, Rebecca K; Damle, Sheela R; Valentine, Yolander A et al. (2018) B1 Cell IgE Impedes Mast Cell-Mediated Enhancement of Parasite Expulsion through B2 IgE Blockade. Cell Rep 22:1824-1834
Damle, S R; Martin, R K; Cockburn, C L et al. (2018) ADAM10 and Notch1 on murine dendritic cells control the development of type 2 immunity and IgE production. Allergy 73:125-136
Crump, Katie E; Oakley, Jennifer C; Xia-Juan, Xia et al. (2017) Interplay of Toll-Like Receptor 9, Myeloid Cells, and Deubiquitinase A20 in Periodontal Inflammation. Infect Immun 85:
Damle, Sheela R; Martin, Rebecca K; Cross, Janet V et al. (2017) Macrophage migration inhibitory factor deficiency enhances immune response to Nippostrongylus brasiliensis. Mucosal Immunol 10:205-214
Beyer, Andrea R; Rodino, Kyle G; VieBrock, Lauren et al. (2017) Orientia tsutsugamushi Ank9 is a multifunctional effector that utilizes a novel GRIP-like Golgi localization domain for Golgi-to-endoplasmic reticulum trafficking and interacts with host COPB2. Cell Microbiol 19:
Lownik, Joseph C; Luker, Andrea J; Damle, Sheela R et al. (2017) ADAM10-Mediated ICOS Ligand Shedding on B Cells Is Necessary for Proper T Cell ICOS Regulation and T Follicular Helper Responses. J Immunol 199:2305-2315
Nalli, Ancy D; Bhattacharya, Sayak; Wang, Hongxia et al. (2017) Augmentation of cGMP/PKG pathway and colonic motility by hydrogen sulfide. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 313:G330-G341
Ndaw, Victor S; Abebayehu, Daniel; Spence, Andrew J et al. (2017) TGF-?1 Suppresses IL-33-Induced Mast Cell Function. J Immunol 199:866-873
Oki, Aminat T; Huang, Bernice; Beyer, Andrea R et al. (2016) Anaplasma phagocytophilum APH0032 Is Exposed on the Cytosolic Face of the Pathogen-Occupied Vacuole and Co-opts Host Cell SUMOylation. Front Cell Infect Microbiol 6:108

Showing the most recent 10 out of 54 publications