The purpose of this proposal is to provide opportunities for undergraduate students from under- represented or disadvantaged backgrounds to engage in an intensive, summer research training experience. Individuals from diverse backgrounds are under-represented in biomedical and behavioral sciences. While the underpinnings of this issue are complex, the problem has been perpetuated in no small part due to major limitations in the ?pipeline? of trainees from diverse backgrounds. As a reflection of our commitment to this issue, the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine has been running an NHLBI-funded program for students from under-represented or disadvantaged backgrounds for the past 15 years. We wish to build on this foundation, and sustain this initiative. Our program was developed on the premise that the principal barrier to diversity in science is not a lack of talent, but rather a lack of opportunity. The program was built around an intensive research experience with an individual mentor, complemented by activities important to building communication and networking skills, such as making presentations in journal club and at a closing poster session, as well as seminars that describe issues relevant to career-building in biomedical sciences. To date we have trained 212 students in our program. Of the 186 students that participated in our program and have now graduated from their undergraduate institution, 163 have been accepted to, enrolled in or received advanced degrees from medical/graduate school. In addition, 8 students are working full-time in research positions with plans to apply to graduate/medical school, bringing the number of past participants actively engaged in the biomedical sciences to 91%. In pursuing funding through this R25 program, we have three principal goals. The first is to provide a high quality scientific experience to students of diverse backgrounds as a means of exposing them to, and persuading them of, the excitement of careers in biomedical sciences. The second goal is to provide students exposure to activities that will enhance their chances for success in biomedical careers, such as organizing material for presentations and seminars on the mentee- mentor relationship. Finally, we hope to continue to develop a network of contacts and information that will help these individuals surmount historical issues of access that have limited entry and success. Over the past 15 years, we have demonstrated our commitment to enhancing diversity in the biomedical sciences, and we look forward to extending this commitment.
The goal of this project is to continue the development and implementation of a training program designed to encourage and enable undergraduate students from under-represented and disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue biomedical research careers in areas related to heart, lung or blood pathophysiology. Our program was developed on the premise that the principal barrier to diversity in science is not a lack of talent, but rather a lack of opportunity. Thus, our program was built around an intensive research experience with an individual mentor, complemented by activities important to building communication and networking skills, such as making presentations in journal club and at a closing poster session, as well as seminars that describe issues relevant to career-building in biomedical sciences.
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