Neither the biomedical research workforce nor the faculty at research universities and medical schools reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the American population. In part, this is due to the limited number of underrepresented minority (URM) students who enter PhD and MD-PhD programs. Lack of substantive research experiences during undergraduate studies leaves many URM students unprepared to apply to competitive graduate programs. The goal of this Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) is to provide URM and disabled students, who want to pursue a career in biomedical research, with the intensive research experience and academic enrichment necessary to make them competitive applicants to rigorous PhD and MD-PhD programs. Einstein has a long history of successfully mentoring URM students through both its PhD and MD-PhD programs. The Einstein PREP has four major components designed to prepare trainees to apply successfully to PhD or MD-PhD programs: 1) an intensive, mentored laboratory research experience, 2) a didactic component to increase trainees' scientific knowledge and prepare them for interdisciplinary research, 3) an oral and written communications skills enhancement program, and 4) a layered mentoring system to provide the trainees with the support network they need to flourish in the program and beyond. These four components are interwoven throughout the year long program. The program begins with a two week Orientation during which trainees select their research mentor. The mentored research project emphasizes the process of hypothesis-based research, the excitement and joy of scientific discovery, and the persistence and creativity needed to achieve success. Trainees work with the Program Directors and research mentor to formulate an Individual Development Plan. Each trainee is assigned either a URM PhD or MD-PhD student peer mentor. The Einstein Minority Scientist Association will run a monthly PREP Journal Club and other social and scientific activities. The Program Directors will meet with the trainees on a weekly basis for informal and didactic sessions. This combination of didactic and experiential learning will prepare the applicants to apply successfully to highly competitive PhD and MD-PhD programs. We expect that more than 75% of our trainees will matriculate and successfully complete such programs. To date, 19 trainees have entered the program, 12 have completed and all are enrolled in PhD or MD-PhD programs, i.e., 100% success. Of the 7 trainees currently in the program, one applying to MD-PhD programs already has an acceptance; five applying to PhD programs already have multiple interview invitations. We expect that all will successfully matriculate into graduate programs. The seventh trainee will spend a second year in the program while she applies to MD-PhD programs. Our PREP alumni will ultimately expand the US biomedical workforce diversity.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of this Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) is to provide underrepresented minority and disabled students who want to pursue a career in biomedical research with the intensive research experience and academic enhancement to make them competitive applicants to rigorous PhD and MD-PhD programs. This will expand the diversity of the biomedical research and teaching workforce in the United States as it seeks the best and brightest scientists to improve the health of all Americans.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Education Projects (R25)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
NIGMS Initial Review Group (TWD)
Program Officer
Gibbs, Kenneth D
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Goldstein, Tracey; Anthony, Simon J; Gbakima, Aiah et al. (2018) The discovery of Bombali virus adds further support for bats as hosts of ebolaviruses. Nat Microbiol 3:1084-1089
Adams, Tangeria R; Arnsten, Julia H; Ning, Yuming et al. (2018) Feasibility and Preliminary Effectiveness of Varenicline for Treating Co-Occurring Cannabis and Tobacco Use. J Psychoactive Drugs 50:12-18
Batista, Gervasio; Johnson, Jennifer L; Dominguez, Elena et al. (2018) Regulation of filial imprinting and structural plasticity by mTORC1 in newborn chickens. Sci Rep 8:8044
Hashimotodani, Yuki; Nasrallah, Kaoutsar; Jensen, Kyle R et al. (2017) LTP at Hilar Mossy Cell-Dentate Granule Cell Synapses Modulates Dentate Gyrus Output by Increasing Excitation/Inhibition Balance. Neuron 95:928-943.e3
Gebre, Sara T; Cameron, Scott A; Li, Lei et al. (2017) Intracellular rebinding of transition-state analogues provides extended in vivo inhibition lifetimes on human purine nucleoside phosphorylase. J Biol Chem 292:15907-15915
Batista, Gervasio; Johnson, Jennifer Leigh; Dominguez, Elena et al. (2016) Translational control of auditory imprinting and structural plasticity by eIF2?. Elife 5:
Zhao, Dazhi; Lizardo, Kezia; Cui, Min Hui et al. (2016) Antagonistic effect of atorvastatin on high fat diet induced survival during acute Chagas disease. Microbes Infect 18:675-686
Tanowitz, Herbert B; Machado, Fabiana S; Spray, David C et al. (2015) Developments in the management of Chagas cardiomyopathy. Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther 13:1393-409
Dasgupta, Sayani; Fishman, Michael A; Mahallati, Hana et al. (2015) Reduced Levels of Proteasome Products in a Mouse Striatal Cell Model of Huntington's Disease. PLoS One 10:e0145333