The renewal of this R25-Excellence in Cardiovascular Sciences (EICS) program--will continue to provide short-term training for undergraduate students of diverse backgrounds, focusing on research training related to the cardiovascular system with an emphasis on teams of investigators involved in translational research. This approach takes advantage of the broad, multidisciplinary cardiovascular research ongoing at Wake Forest School of Medicine (WFSM), with areas of expertise in hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes, obesity, and vascular disease. Faculty from the Hypertension &Vascular Research Center, Center for Diabetes Research, Departments of Physiology/Pharmacology, Pathology and Biochemistry, Molecular Medicine Program and Divisions of Medicine and Surgery participate as Research Mentors, many of whom have participated in the program for 15-20 years. New Research Mentors were recruited for the renewal in keeping with the program directors desire to develop mentoring skills in newly appointed or young investigators. The trainees will be minority students, those from disadvantaged backgrounds, or those with disabilities wishing to pursue a biomedical research project. The overall objectives remain to 1) introduce students to biomedical research through hands-on participation in a research project;2) introduce students to critical scientific evaluatin by participating in a cardiovascular journal club;3) provide experience in scientific writing and speaking through presentation of the research project as a poster;4) provide exposure to research faculty, both basic science and clinical;and 5) foster a long-term commitment to pursue a career in the biomedical sciences through an experience that exemplifies the excitement and challenges of clinically relevant investigation. New objectives for the renewal include: 6) providing exposure to diverse career opportunities by bi-weekly faculty chats with Career Mentors;7) facilitating matriculation into biomedical graduate programs by providing information on applying to graduate school, taking the GRE examination;and 8) yearly in-depth formal evaluation of the mentees by their Research Mentors. Over 80% of former participants in the program who have finished their undergraduate degrees go on to graduate, medical or industrial technical positions. Furthermore, ~15% of the participants have continued their association with WFSM as PhD students, medical students or technical/post-bac students. In fact, ~30% of the PhD's awarded to under-represented minority students in our biomedical sciences programs from 2009-2011 were from the EICS program. These statistics demonstrate the continued success of the EICS program and its primary focus of providing training to under-represented minorities to facilitate their matriculation into post-graduate programs and their careers in biomedical research.
This program will continue to provide short-term training for minority undergraduate students. The focus is on research training related to the cardiovascular system with an emphasis on teams of investigators involved in translational research, taking advantage of the broad, multidisciplinary cardiovascular research ongoing at Wake Forest School of Medicine (WFSM).
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