The University of Arizona (UA) College of Medicine Diverse Student Medical Research Program (DSMRP) will introduce, train, and nurture inquiring medical and undergraduate students [including under-represented minorities (URM)] in health-related basic/clinical biomedical research (emphasizing cardiovascular, pulmonary, blood);and encourage subsequent intensive/extensive research experiences to retain and strengthen the diverse student researcher pipeline. We will build on the infrastructure, high level of student and faculty mentor participation, esprit-de-corps, and outstanding trainee productivity of our current medical student and disadvantaged high school student programs to bridge the discontinuous diversity pipeline of entering and exiting students as they advance in training and strive for professional/academic careers. Full-time summer-vacation laboratory/clinical investigations will be integrated into an innovative Curriculum on Medical Ignorance (CMI) concentrated in a Summer Institute (SIMI) and sustained through year-round trainee-related enrichment activities. These include topical workshops, clinical correlations, advanced extracurricular research in a Research Honors Distinction Track, Introduction to Molecular Medicine laboratory practicum, a new progressive """"""""Translating Translation"""""""" face-to-face/online curriculum interweaving the known and unknown from bench to bedside to community, research methodology/communications/leadership/responsible conduct seminars, visiting professors, and career advising. CMI fosters attitudes and questioning skills to recognize and deal with the vast shifting world of medical ignorance [""""""""what we know we don't know (research), don't know we don't know(discovery), and think we know but don't (error)""""""""]. A unique Virtual Clinical Research Center with Questionarium forms a centerpiece for training and national/international networking. Organized around expanding UA Specialized Centers of Excellence and departments and overseen by Program Director, Basic-Clinical Science Advisors, and faculty-elected Medical Student Research Committee, research encompasses cross-cutting themes and in vivo, in vitro, in situ, in silico, and modeling approaches to the cardiovascular (CV) system and its disorders (cardiac contractility, hypertrophy, development;genomics/proteomics, imaging, biomaterials, prosthetics;endothelial biology, microcirculatory physiology, lymphology, bioengineering);and interdigitating research in cancer, neurosciences, bioinformatics, and other topics of interest to students. Based on our ~30-year track record and access to diverse/disadvantaged populations reflected in 729 medical students and 474 high school students trained to date, we anticipate that DSMRP will cultivate many diverse scientific physician contributors to the research enterprise and a growing cadre of medical scientist leaders to energize the scanty diversity pipeline of healthcare professionals and translational researchers. Detailed S/T and L/T formative/summative program and participant evaluation including database registry, individual development plans, and career portfolios, will document effectiveness and promote networking.

Public Health Relevance

This proposal will develop and implement a model program to recruit, train and mentor a large number of diverse/disadvantaged (including URM) undergraduates and medical students in biomedical research predominantly targeting heart, lung, blood disorders. We will develop a career pipeline to promote retention and career progression, thereby contributing to the NIH Roadmap goals of creating the diverse clinical research teams of the future and advancing translation of medical discoveries from bench to bedside to community.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHL1-CSR-Y (M2))
Program Officer
Meadows, Tawanna
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University of Arizona
Schools of Medicine
United States
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