Through the NIDDK Short-Term Education Program for Underrepresented Persons (STEP-UP), the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) proposes to implement the UCLA STEP-UP, as one of two sites dedicated to coordinating the recruitment of students from the 48 contiguous United States (excluding American Indian students as per the RFA) over the 5-year award period. The program will provide an in-depth, mentored health sciences immersion experience each summer to 25 promising underrepresented high school students who are committed to a career in NIDDK mission areas, including diabetes, endocrinology, metabolism, nutrition, obesity, and digestive, urologic, kidney, and hematologic diseases. The main goal of this program is provide a robust summer biomedical science research experience reinforced by an ongoing year round mentoring program to these 25 promising underrepresented high school students from around the nation who otherwise would likely not have access to a promising career path in the sciences. The UCLA STEP-UP program will include an introductory web-based research conduct and lab/clinic readiness training curriculum, an informal mentor-led laboratory and research orientation, opportunities for attendance at various research forums, specialized student-specific research assignments and activities, and support for students to attend the annual NIH student research symposium where they will present their research findings to their peers and senior researchers.
The specific aims of the UCLA Step-Up are to: 1. Provide a rewarding 8 week mentored summer research experience to 25 underrepresented high school students annually, which includes education in research principles, research conduct, and the presentation of science; 2. Provide intensive mentoring to each student by active research faculty; 3. Fully participate in the national STEP-UP symposium at NIH/NIDDK, where the students make oral and/or poster presentations to peers and established researchers using the standard presentation format of national scientific meetings; and 4. Evaluate the impact of UCLA STEP-UP on key early hallmarks of success that predict students' ability to excel in the biomedical and health professional sciences.

Public Health Relevance

/RELEVANCE TO PUBLIC HEALTH The UCLA STEP-UP is designed to increase the number of underrepresented high school students ?in the pipeline? who are committed to careers in biomedical, behavioral, clinical, or social science research in the NIDDK mission areas, with a special emphasis on the diseases that disproportionately impact ethnic and racial minorities and other vulnerable and medically underserved populations. Through this expansion in diversity of the junior research workforce, the ultimate goal is to enhance diversity of the scientific ?Think Force? which will lead to a reduction in health disparities and improved health outcomes for all Americans.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Education Projects (R25)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZDK1)
Program Officer
Rivers, Robert C
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California Los Angeles
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Los Angeles
United States
Zip Code
Laster, Marciana; Shen, Jenny I; Norris, Keith C (2018) Kidney Disease Among African Americans: A Population Perspective. Am J Kidney Dis 72:S3-S7