The mission of the National Institutes of Health is to improve the health status of all Americans through biomedical research and scientific training and education. To reach this goal we need to succeed in developing a diverse group of scientists ready to make breakthroughs that result in the development of novel therapies to treat current killer diseases and the reduction and ultimate elimination of current health disparities. The mission of the Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity Program (IMSD) at Loma Linda University is to increase diversity in the cadre of students that graduate with PhD or MD-PhD degrees at this institution. To accomplish this goal, this competitive renewal application proposes a comprehensive plan that should lead to an increase in the number of underrepresented minority students (URMS) that graduate with a PhD degree from Loma Linda University. The program especially focuses in identifying and removing hurdles that can inhibit success of URMS in graduate school. The goal of the application is to double the number of URMS that graduate with a PhD degree in the biomedical sciences at LLU. The application will accomplish this goal by meeting six specific measurable objectives: (1) To recruit and support 5 new promising URMS per year that participate in the LLU- NIH IMSD program. (2) To achieve a 100% graduation rate of PhD students participating in the program. (3) To provide a supportive academic and financial environment to all LLU IMSD students. (4) To enhance the academic and research proficiency of all LLU IMSD students through participation in co-curricular activities such as modules on scientific writing and communication, research proposal development, and teaching skills. (5) To have all LLU IMSD students attend at least one major national and two regional/local scientific meetings per year, and publish a minimum of two first author manuscripts during the PhD. (6) To increase the number of graduate URMS who are proficient in the field of health disparities through participation in a 1-unit topic course on health disparities. The LLU-NIH IMSD program has been successful in reaching its goals and objectives because of the development of a robust internal pipeline of diversity programs, and a continued partnership with diversity programs from collaborating institutions around the country that share with us the vision of training a diverse workforce of biomedical scientists. Public health relevance: Finding the cure of current killer diseases in the USA requires developing a diverse cadre of biomedical scientists that are well trained and equipped to pursue cutting-edge basic and translational science research. The present application contains a comprehensive educational developmental plan that addresses well known hurdles that interfere with the aspirations of universities across the country in increasing the number of PhD graduates from students underrepresented in biomedical sciences.
Finding the cure of current killer diseases in USA requires developing a diverse cadre of biomedical scientists that are well trained and equipped to pursue cutting edge basic and translational science research. The present application contains a comprehensive educational developmental plan that addresses well known hurdles that interfere with the aspirations of universities across the country in increasing the number of PhD graduates from students underrepresented in biomedical sciences.
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