The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) requests NIH/NIGMS support to continue its successful MARC U*STAR Research Preparedness Program. The overall goal of the program is to develop exceptional underrepresented minority undergraduate researchers who successfully matriculate into highly selective doctoral training programs and pursue research careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. In 30 years since the UTSA MARC program inception, refinements have increased doctoral trainee matriculation rates to ~50% (2006-present). This rate is practically double what it was just ten years ago. Quality is very high as 23 former trainees are currently in prestigious doctoral programs (87% at T32 institutions). With excellent, well-established MARC training activities and strong relationships with several exceptional doctoral training programs, the UTSA MARC program is now in an opportune position to expand its impact to a much greater number of UTSA's undergraduate students, 52% of whom come from populations underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. The proposed new MARC U*STAR program will continue to provide outstanding academic and research training to MARC trainees, but will also engage non-MARC undergraduates in the College of Science (COS), College of Engineering (COE), and College of Liberal and Fine Arts (COLFA), as well as High School students visiting the UTSA campus to expand the pool of students interested in research careers. The central hypothesis is that by initiating, refining and institutionalizing successful MARC U*STAR interventions, and by providing curricular and course enhancements, information, and innovative entry-level research training opportunities for non-MARC students, program impact will be broadened and doctoral program matriculation rates of URM students will increase at UTSA. Program goals will be accomplished through achieving three specific aims: 1) enhance existing and implement new developmental activities for MARC U*STAR trainees; 2) promote and develop entry-level research education and research training experiences at UTSA; and 3) revise or develop academic-related activities, curriculum and coursework for UTSA undergraduates, to enhance their quantitative skills and preparation for doctoral education. An array of effective and innovative activities will be implemented to achieve the specific aims, each with measurable objectives that will be used to assess progress and effectiveness. The proposed training plan is innovative because it employs a variety of approaches beyond research mentoring to develop and promote undergraduate biomedical and behavioral research, and pursuit of doctoral education, at UTSA. Overall, the UTSA MARC U*STAR program is dedicated to accomplishing the long-term goal of increasing the number of URM students who enter and complete doctoral education, and launch rewarding careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.

Public Health Relevance

Breakthroughs in scientific research always precede improvements in medical treatment and public health. Providing funding to recruit and train a diverse work force of future scientists will develop a robust scientific community poised to address the nation health concerns, including those who disproportionately affect minority populations.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
MARC Undergraduate NRSA Institutional Grants (T34)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Minority Programs Review Subcommittee A (MPRC)
Program Officer
Okita, Richard T
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
Schools of Arts and Sciences
San Antonio
United States
Zip Code
Cheng, Qing-Qing; Massey, Lynée A; Willett, Brook S et al. (2018) Copper-Catalyzed Formal [4+2] Cycloaddition of Enoldiazoimides with Sulfur Ylides. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 57:10343-10346
Cardona, Sandra M; Kim, Sangwon V; Church, Kaira A et al. (2018) Role of the Fractalkine Receptor in CNS Autoimmune Inflammation: New Approach Utilizing a Mouse Model Expressing the Human CX3CR1I249/M280 Variant. Front Cell Neurosci 12:365
Zwicker, Jeffery D; Diaz, Nicolas A; Guerra, Alfredo J et al. (2018) Optimization of dipeptidic inhibitors of cathepsin L for improved Toxoplasma gondii selectivity and CNS permeability. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 28:1972-1980
Garcia, Antonio F; Berzins, Tiffany; Acosta, Melina et al. (2018) The Anxiety Depression Distress Inventory-27 (ADDI-27): New Evidence of Factor Structure, Item-Level Measurement Invariance, and Validity. J Pers Assess 100:321-332
Yu, Yang; Humeidi, Ranad; Alleyn, James R et al. (2017) Catalytic Allylic Oxidation of Cyclic Enamides and 3,4-Dihydro-2H-Pyrans by TBHP. J Org Chem 82:8506-8513
Garcia, Antonio F; Acosta, Melina; Pirani, Saifa et al. (2017) Factor structure, factorial invariance, and validity of the Multidimensional Shame-Related Response Inventory-21 (MSRI-21). J Couns Psychol 64:233-246
Deng, Yongming; Massey, Lynée A; Rodriguez Núñez, Yeray A et al. (2017) Catalytic Divergent [3+3]- and [3+2]-Cycloaddition by Discrimination Between Diazo Compounds. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 56:12292-12296
Deng, Yongming; Massey, Lynée A; Zavalij, Peter Y et al. (2017) Catalytic Asymmetric [3+1]-Cycloaddition Reaction of Ylides with Electrophilic Metallo-enolcarbene Intermediates. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 56:7479-7483
Guisbiers, Grégory; Lara, Humberto H; Mendoza-Cruz, Ruben et al. (2017) Inhibition of Candida albicans biofilm by pure selenium nanoparticles synthesized by pulsed laser ablation in liquids. Nanomedicine 13:1095-1103
Kotzur, Travis; Benavides-Garcia, Roberto; Mecklenburg, Jennifer et al. (2017) Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) promotes spermatogenic regeneration from surviving spermatogonia after high-dose alkylating chemotherapy. Reprod Biol Endocrinol 15:7

Showing the most recent 10 out of 36 publications