This Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) proposal seeks continued support for an active and successful campus-wide program at the University of Missouri - Columbia (MU). The long-term goal of our program is to increase the number of minority Ph.D. scientists engaged in biomedical research. Our program at MU has a strong record of success toward this goal, with specific activities directed at multiple levels of the training pipeline, including an EXPRESS program for freshman/ sophomore undergraduates, research internships for upperclassmen, a postbaccalaureate PREP program, and strong graduate training programs. The goals outlined in this proposal will strengthen minority training in biomedical research in three specific areas. One major goal is to broaden the pool of minority undergraduate science majors by creating a structured environment for the early involvement of freshman/ sophomore undergraduates in biomedical research. A second major goal is to enhance the recruitment and training of graduate students through specific faculty and peer mentoring activities that will enable graduate students to successfully transition from undergraduate studies to graduate research. A third major goal is to create a community of minority life scientists at MU that is integrated across all career levels. This Minority Scientist Network will also be integrated into other campus-wide research and training activities at MU, including the Life Sciences Undergraduate Opportunities Program (LS UROP) and the graduate Life Sciences Fellowship Program. Our program will offer novel opportunities for role models across all career stages, for peer-to-peer mentoring, and for the training of minority scientists in an outstanding research environment. The departments and faculty participating in this program represent a broad range of disciplines, including Animal Sciences, Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Medical Pharmacology and Physiology, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Plant Sciences, Veterinary Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Pathobiology. The faculty members brought together into this umbrella program have extensive experience in mentoring and training minority students and strong research programs addressing a diverse range of biological questions. This program is housed in the Bond Life Sciences Center, which provides a unifying framework for interdisciplinary and interdepartmental research, education and training at MU. Relevance to Public Health: Our proposal will provide a structured environment that facilitates the early participation of minority undergraduates in biomedical research and the training of graduate students toward the Ph.D. degree. A key element of our program is integration of minority scientists at all levels of education to build a strong and interactive community of minority life scientists at MU. The creative talents and energies of minority scientists actively engaged in biomedical research will enable our nation to make significant advances in improving the health of our citizens.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Education Projects (R25)
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Study Section
Minority Programs Review Committee (MPRC)
Program Officer
Gaillard, Shawn R
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University of Missouri-Columbia
Schools of Medicine
United States
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