The goal of the IMSD is to increase the numbers and success of underrepresented (UR) scientists (Ph.D. and MD/Ph.D.s) trained by the Graduate School of Baylor College of Medicine. $ 8.1 million in grants (1998-2014) provided educational opportunities to students to enhance UR participation and success in biomedical research careers. Since 1998, 89 UR students have earned PhDs, 12 of them MD/PhDs and 3 MDs after medical school. Currently, 87 of them are employed in science, with two others returning soon. Fifteen alumni have faculty positions at Tier 1 institutions (43% who have finished post-docs or residencies). They have acquired a few grants already, including a K99/00, an Early Independence, a R01, a Robert Wood Johnson, and 5 grants from other sources. Ten Ph.D. students are supported each year (salaries and fringe). UR graduate student education has been enhanced by creating individual development plans for each under-represented Ph.D. student with opportunities for a summer bridge program that sponsors a review of molecular and cellular biology, and a mini-review of genetics and neuroscience. Students have increased time to complete graduate coursework with tutoring support, faculty mentoring, fellowship application training, skills building workshops, including four tiers of writing workshops and scientific conference participation. Activities of the Association for Graduate Student Diversity have been enhanced; a seminar series features local and external minority scientists. The number of UR Ph.D. and MD/Ph.D. students enrolled at Baylor College of Medicine at any one time increased from 20 in 1998 to 38 in August of 2001 to 80 by August of 2007. The retention rate of UR Ph.D. students has risen from approximately 66% pre- IMSD to more than 85%. Since 1998, 89 under-represented minority students have received Ph.D.s and 10 received terminal M.S. degrees. The numbers of UR students receiving local, national and international awards has increased dramatically since 1998, to more than 220 awards, including 55 national fellowships. UR students now win research awards and fellowships at a higher rate than non-UR students (www.bcm.edu/diversityprogams). All alumni are progressing in their careers in science or professions where they use their scientific backgrounds.
Each year, the BCM IMSD graduates more than 10 under-represented PhDs in biomedical sciences who go on to establish productive careers using their science backgrounds. They inspire others and serve as role models as they advance biomedical science.
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