The undergraduate component of the proposed USC IMSD program will seek to build on our already existing programs by offering underrepresented minority (URM) students a more extensive exposure to biomedical research than can be obtained during a single undergraduate summer laboratory rotation. The IMSD program will increase the level of qualified URM applicants to our graduate programs by offering minority students the opportunity to work as research assistants for two or three years in biomedical research laboratories while preparing for Graduate School. Students who complete the undergraduate portion of the USC IMSD program with a strong recommendation from their mentor and who have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher will be guaranteed admission into one of the graduate programs in the biomedical sciences at USC. The cooperating HBCUs will provide additional applicants to our graduate programs and to the USC PREP program. The IMSD undergraduates, students completing the PREP program, and well qualified students from the HBCUs will provide the core of the USC IMSD graduate program. The IMSD graduate program will begin with a graduate transition program in July so that the IMSD students are fully prepared for the start of their graduate course work in August. In addition, the IMSD program will provide participants with a graduate research assistantship during the first year of their graduate program and will pay their tuition for up to 4 years during their graduate training. The specific goals of the USC IMSD program are: (1) To recruit qualified underrepresented minority undergraduates to participate in funded biomedical research programs throughout the remainder of their undergraduate careers. (2) To improve research skills of IMSD participants through work as undergraduate research assistants in mentored relationships with both a faculty member and a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow. (3) To help the students establish relationships among peers and faculty at USC and elsewhere in the research community so that the students have well-defined career goals and a support system that helps them achieve their goals. (4) To provide a smooth transition from undergraduate science programs at USC and the cooperating HBCUs to biomedical graduate programs at USC. The success of this program will increase the diversity of scientists with careers in biomedical research. This increased diversity will provide a more balanced perspective on research issues and contribute toward solutions for the correction of health disparities. ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-MBRS-6 (IM))
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Gaillard, Shawn R
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University of South Carolina at Columbia
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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