The Science Education Partnership and Assessment Laboratory (SEPAL) in the Department of Biology at San Francisco State University (SFSU) - in strong collaboration with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), the Exploratorium, and the National Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) Network - proposes Spectrum: Building Pathways to Biomedical Research Careers for Girls and Women of Color. While progress has been made in encouraging girls in science, women of color are still largely absent from the biomedical research community and no materials or models currently exist that are designed specifically to attract girls of color to these careers. Through the Spectrum initiative, SEPAL seeks to pioneer a multi-pronged program that brings together K-12 teachers and students with individuals from multiple stages on the biomedical research career pathway to learn together about the biology behind women's health issues and about research being conducted by women biomedical researchers of color. Together, a community composed of biomedical scientists who are women of color - including SFSU undergraduate students, SFSU Masters degree students, SFSU alumni in local doctoral and biotechnology positions, and SFSU Faculty - and middle and high school students and teachers will partner to address the following specific aims: 1) to educate local middle and high schools students, especially girls of color, and teachers about research on women's health and research by local NIH-funded researchers who are primarily women of color, 2) to develop a community of biomedical research role models and mentors that include females of color at multiple stages along the career pathway from middle school to faculty, 3) to develop a series of biomedical science activities tailored to the interests of adolescent girls and linked to the research programs of NIH-funded biomedical researchers who are primarily women of color, 4) to partner with the local and national Expanding Your Horizons organizations to disseminate the resulting curriculum on the science of women's health issues and this mentoring model nationwide, and 5) to investigate the role of participation in Spectrum on the interest of girls of color in biomedical science and retention of women of color in the research career pathway. Spectrum is so named to reflect its dual emphasis on developing scientists of color and on involving individuals from the entire spectrum of positions along the biomedical research career track. Spectrum activities will be open to all students and are designed specifically to attract the involvement of girls of color, and as such, will address a pressing equity issue by encouraging underrepresented students, especially girls and women of color, to pursue biomedical science research careers and by producing curricular materials designed to engage this target audience. ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Education Projects (R25)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRR1-SEPA-9 (01))
Program Officer
Beck, Lawrence A
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
San Francisco State University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
San Francisco
United States
Zip Code