The proposed Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) at Georgia State University (GSU) offers a highly innovative program that will recruit and retain undergraduate students from groups underrepresented in science who will then pursue careers in biomedical sciences. GSU is an ideal institution for an IMSD program as it combines excellence in biomedical and behavioral sciences with a remarkably diverse undergraduate population as well as with GSU's success in training undergraduates from underrepresented minorities. GSU now graduates more African American students than any other non-profit institution of higher learning in the United States. The goal of the proposed IMSD is to combine our existing strengths in biomedical research with the unique success of GSU in educating underrepresented minorities to make it the premier institution in the nation for the education of a highly diverse group of students who will go on to NIH-funded research careers. The objectives of this IMSD program are: (1) to engage high-potential undergraduates from underrepresented groups, recruited from Neuroscience, Biology, Chemistry, and Psychology, in a two-year research immersion and integration program, which includes research during summer as well as academic year activities that will integrate regular coursework with research activities (research semester); (2) to promote survival skills for research careers through an intensive series of professional development workshops and courses in which students will hone their skills in critical thinking, scientific communication, research career planning, and ethics; (3) to create a highly supportive academic and social environment to launch graduate careers in biomedical science by providing instructors with skills to train students from underrepresented groups and help them get entry into PhD programs and by fostering connections with other partner T32 and PREP institutions; and (4) to evaluate progress and identify program, mentor, and trainee dispositions that predict success in biomedical research careers, which we will then use to institutionalize successful program elements beyond the grant period at GSU and, by disseminating and publishing the results of our evaluation, at other institutions.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of the proposed IMSD - Atlanta is to combine the existing research-intensive programmatic strengths in Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at Georgia State University with the University's unique success in educating underrepresented minorities to develop a highly diverse group of students who will go on to research careers and be available to participate in NIH-funded research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Education Projects (R25)
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Training and Workforce Development Subcommittee - D (TWD)
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Ravichandran, Veerasamy
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Georgia State University
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United States
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Wall, Mark J; Collins, Dawn R; Chery, Samantha L et al. (2018) The Temporal Dynamics of Arc Expression Regulate Cognitive Flexibility. Neuron 98:1124-1132.e7