Although one of the main functions of biomedical researchers at academic institutions is teaching, their preparation is centered in the development of research, analytical and technical skills. Our previously implemented RISE Program (Preparing Future Faculty Program) was intended to prepare doctoral students in biomedical sciences for future faculty positions in Puerto Rico and the mainland. Building upon its achievements, the proposed Preparing Future Faculty: RISEing to the Challenge project will institutionalize our PFFP by integrating the courses in science education and pedagogy into the doctoral curriculum of the Graduate Program. This integration will be aligned with a curricular revision and re-structuring intended to streamline the current coursework that will allow for the addition of a science education component and significant teaching and research experiences without increasing time to degree. In this program we will also develop and implement recruiting strategies, particularly targeting underrepresented undergraduate students from private undergraduate institutions which are usually underserved in the recruitment and acceptance at many doctoral programs. Graduate students will be active players in the development and implementation of our proposed recruiting activities and will serve as ambassadors to our Graduate Program and research opportunities enhancing the pool of qualified candidates available for admission. Moreover, by actively participating in these activities, doctoral students will develop and further enhance their teaching and mentoring skills. We recognize that training competitive biomedical researchers that are also science educators is challenging and we have established collaborative agreements with research intensive institutions, PUI and other entities that will complement our research infrastructure and will provide the required teaching opportunities that our students need for their training. These collaborative efforts are a key component of our proposed program since they will allow us to leverage our resources and bolster our research enterprise. Finally, we intend to further prepare our doctoral students by integrating activities aimed at developing the professional skills and attitudes that will capacitate them to enter and compete in the current workforce. We recognize that preparing competitive biomedical researchers that are also experienced science educators is a complex and challenging endeavor, however, at UCC we are RISEing to the challenge.

Public Health Relevance

Preparing Future Faculty: RISEing to the Challenge is intended to institutionalize and extend the impact of the RISE Program at Universidad Central del Caribe. Through a curricular revision, streamlining courses, and significant research and teaching experiences along with professional skills development we will continue training the next generation of biomedical researchers and science educators.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Education Projects (R25)
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NIGMS Initial Review Group (TWD)
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Brown, Anissa F
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Universidad Central Del Caribe
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Rivera-Pagán, Aixa F; Méndez-González, Miguel P; Rivera-Aponte, David E et al. (2018) A-Kinase-Anchoring Protein (AKAP150) is expressed in Astrocytes and Upregulated in Response to Ischemia. Neuroscience 384:54-63
Ferrer-Acosta, Yancy; Gonzalez-Vega, Maxine N; Rivera-Aponte, David E et al. (2017) Monitoring Astrocyte Reactivity and Proliferation in Vitro Under Ischemic-Like Conditions. J Vis Exp :
Kucheryavykh, Lilia Y; Dávila-Rodríguez, Josué; Rivera-Aponte, David E et al. (2017) Platelets are responsible for the accumulation of ?-amyloid in blood clots inside and around blood vessels in mouse brain after thrombosis. Brain Res Bull 128:98-105
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Morales-Cruz, Moraima; Cruz-Montañez, Alejandra; Figueroa, Cindy M et al. (2016) Combining Stimulus-Triggered Release and Active Targeting Strategies Improves Cytotoxicity of Cytochrome c Nanoparticles in Tumor Cells. Mol Pharm 13:2844-54
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Suárez-Arroyo, Ivette J; Feliz-Mosquea, Yismeilin R; Pérez-Laspiur, Juliana et al. (2016) The proteome signature of the inflammatory breast cancer plasma membrane identifies novel molecular markers of disease. Am J Cancer Res 6:1720-40
Rolón-Reyes, Kimberleve; Kucheryavykh, Yuriy V; Cubano, Luis A et al. (2015) Microglia Activate Migration of Glioma Cells through a Pyk2 Intracellular Pathway. PLoS One 10:e0131059
Rivera-Pagán, Aixa F; Rivera-Aponte, David E; Melnik-Martínez, Katya V et al. (2015) Up-regulation of TREK-2 potassium channels in cultured astrocytes requires de novo protein synthesis: relevance to localization of TREK-2 channels in astrocytes after transient cerebral ischemia. PLoS One 10:e0125195
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