The SMART PREP at BCM will continue to provide research and educational opportunities to better prepare promising underrepresented (UR) college graduates to enter and succeed in biomedical related Ph.D. programs and progress into biomedical research careers. BCM is ranked in the top 5% of US graduate schools granting biomedical Ph.D.s. BCM UR Ph.D. student enrollment increased by 400% from 1998 to 2007. UR students maximize their potential through individual development plans (IDP) and are often ranked among our best Ph.D. and MD/Ph.D. students. Creating IDPs for PREP apprentices is a key component of our PREPs. Participants will work 3 time as apprentice technicians and conduct research at the frontier of biomedical science. Apprentices will participate intellectually in the research through directed reading of scientific papers, lab meetings, journal clubs and seminars. A research project will provide opportunities for apprentices to progress toward more independent function developing hypotheses, designing and conducting experiments, interpreting data, drawing conclusions and contributing to the preparation of a manuscript describing the work. The culmination of the project will involve a PowerPoint talk on their research and writing a one-specific aim grant proposal using their work for the preliminary data to provide an experience that reflects most Ph.D. qualifying exams. Apprentices will build their knowledge in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) through a course that emphasizes experimental approaches, quantitative skills, ethical decision-making, URM health disparities and the contributions of URM scientists. There are ~ 80URM Ph.D. and MD/Ph.D. students enrolled in BCM programs. Some of these students will be selected as guest lecturers to present a """"""""research relevance"""""""" for some MCB classes. Weekly analysis and problem solving meetings will enhance the ability to read and analyze the scientific literature and research with an emphasis on quantitative and writing skills. Standardized test preparatory workshops, graduate school application workshops, ethics and safety training, and skills building workshops will provide additional training in skills needed to succeed as a scientist. Individual or group tutoring and instruction will be provided in English, math or physical sciences as needed. Faculty and Ph.D. student mentoring and attending a UR student organization meetings, fall welcome and spring graduation receptions, and scientific conferences will help inspire and motivate participants to strive for excellence as they become members of the scientific community. Progression into Ph.D. programs will be facilitated by interacting with program directors (T32 training grant supported and other Ph.D. programs) through receptions and meetings with program directors and Ph.D. students. Formative and summative evaluations will assess progress and performance of apprentices, mentors, staff and the impact of the program on the institution and achievement of goals of the MORE Division of NIH, to diversify biomedicine.

Public Health Relevance

The BCM SMART PREP will enhance education of UR students and their progression into Ph.D. biomedical programs and careers. These apprentices will develop the background to work on diseases that disproportionately affect minorities, serve as role models for UR students, help educate their communities about biomedical research and health care developments.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Education Projects (R25)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
National Institute of General Medical Sciences Initial Review Group (BRT)
Program Officer
Bender, Michael T
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Baylor College of Medicine
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Johnston, A N; Bu, W; Hein, S et al. (2018) Hyperprolactinemia-inducing antipsychotics increase breast cancer risk by activating JAK-STAT5 in precancerous lesions. Breast Cancer Res 20:42
Sprouse, Maran L; Shevchenko, Ivan; Scavuzzo, Marissa A et al. (2018) Cutting Edge: Low-Affinity TCRs Support Regulatory T Cell Function in Autoimmunity. J Immunol 200:909-914
Lopez, A Y; Wang, X; Xu, M et al. (2017) Ankyrin-G isoform imbalance and interneuronopathy link epilepsy and bipolar disorder. Mol Psychiatry 22:1464-1472
Woodard, Lauren E; Downes, Laura M; Lee, Yi-Chien et al. (2017) Temporal self-regulation of transposition through host-independent transposase rodlet formation. Nucleic Acids Res 45:353-366
Chiang, David Y; Lebesgue, Nicolas; Beavers, David L et al. (2015) Alterations in the interactome of serine/threonine protein phosphatase type-1 in atrial fibrillation patients. J Am Coll Cardiol 65:163-73
Baalman, Kelli; Marin, Miguel A; Ho, Tammy Szu-Yu et al. (2015) Axon initial segment-associated microglia. J Neurosci 35:2283-92
Chiang, David Y; Zhang, Min; Voigt, Niels et al. (2015) Identification of microRNA-mRNA dysregulations in paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Int J Cardiol 184:190-7
Chiang, David Y; Li, Na; Wang, Qiongling et al. (2014) Impaired local regulation of ryanodine receptor type 2 by protein phosphatase 1 promotes atrial fibrillation. Cardiovasc Res 103:178-87
Chiang, David Y; Kongchan, Natee; Beavers, David L et al. (2014) Loss of microRNA-106b-25 cluster promotes atrial fibrillation by enhancing ryanodine receptor type-2 expression and calcium release. Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol 7:1214-22
Li, Na; Chiang, David Y; Wang, Sufen et al. (2014) Ryanodine receptor-mediated calcium leak drives progressive development of an atrial fibrillation substrate in a transgenic mouse model. Circulation 129:1276-1285

Showing the most recent 10 out of 18 publications