This R25-proposal, entitled Short-Term Research Education Program to Increase Diversity in Health-Related Research, will focus the considerable strengths and diversity of multi-departmental and institutional research dealing with vascular biology at Vanderbilt University and Meharry Medical College into a coherent framework for introducing research design and methods. Stipends for 10 undergraduate students will be available. The undergraduate students will be recruited from across the country and from those groups of individuals described in the R25 initiative. Every effort will be made to have these students participate in the program for two consecutive summers. While the training program will focus primarily on research, in addition to the required workshop on Ethics in Research and attendance and participation in a seminar series presented by the faculty preceptors, the students will be offered the opportunity to attend a GRE preparation course, and a workshop on opportunities (careers) in research. At the end of the summer, the students will present orally their work to the other students and the faculty, very much in the style of talks given at national meetings. This will be accompanied by a short written report of their summer research activities, in the style of a journal article. This training is intended to prepare the students for what is needed and expected to succeed in graduate school, to increase their interest in vascular biology research, and to introduce them to research - techniques, methodologies and career options. Training facilities include 9 departments in 9 adjacent buildings at Vanderbilt and the Division of Biomedical Sciences, including Cancer Biology, Pharmacology, Pathology Microbiology and Immunology, and Neuroscience, at Meharry Medical College. Two of the major goals of this proposal are (1) to provide the type of environment that will encourage students to choose a career of scientific investigation, and (2) to help increase the diversity of those working in vascular biology research, whether it be at academic institutions or at research opportunities in the private sector. Those successful individuals, will, in turn, act as role models for future students interested in research careers. Another important goal is to provide multidisciplinary research training for future scientists whic will be critical to discovering new information that will lead to improved diagnosis, prevention and therapy for cardiovascular diseases.
The goals of this proposal are to provide training to undergraduate students from populations under-represented in cardiovascular research, and to influence their career choices toward one in vascular biology. This research will advance our understanding of vascular diseases, ultimately benefitting public health.
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