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Johns Hopkins And Morgan State Team Up To Train A More Diverse Biomedical Workforce - 10/22/2014

Johns Hopkins And Morgan State Team Up To Train A More Diverse Biomedical Workforce

New National Institutes of Health grant will fund training, research experience for undergraduates
Release Date: October 22, 2014

Morgan State University has been awarded a $23.3 million grant, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today. The award, called Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD), is part of a program to increase diversity in the biomedical sciences and will fund a new center to equip top Morgan State undergraduates with research skills and experience, in partnership with professors and research labs at The Johns Hopkins University.

“We’re delighted to have this opportunity to team up with Morgan State by providing experienced research mentors for this innovative program,” says Katherine L. Wilson, Ph.D. , a professor of cell biology in the Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The program will begin in summer 2015, when 30 competitively selected Morgan State students will participate in a research skills “boot camp” at their home institution. The next summer, 20 of these students will “ascend” to the next level and select a research laboratory, either at Johns Hopkins, the University of Maryland or NIH. At Johns Hopkins, the Morgan State students will work alongside Ph.D. students and meet other college students from across the country who are doing summer internships. At the end of the summer, they will present their research in a poster session. The initial award will fund the program for five years.

“We welcome the involvement of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine on the BUILD grant, as it complements our other research partnerships with Johns Hopkins’ Whiting School of Engineering, school of education and the Applied Physics Laboratory to develop a broader STEM-based workforce and to foster cutting-edge and innovative research collaborations,” says Victor R. McCrary, Ph.D., vice president for research and economic development at Morgan State University.

NIH plans to invest a total of approximately $240 million over five years, pending availability of funds. The Johns Hopkins/Morgan State collaboration is one of 10 BUILD awards announced today. BUILD is a set of experimental training awards designed to learn how to attract students from diverse backgrounds into the biomedical research workforce and encourage them to become future contributors to the NIH-funded research enterprise.  

“The biomedical research enterprise must engage all sectors of the population in order to solve the most complex biological problems and discover innovative news ways to improve human health,” says NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “While past efforts to diversify our workforce have had significant impact on individuals, we have not made substantial progress in supporting diversity. This program will test new models of training and mentoring so that we can ultimately attract the best minds from all groups to biomedical research.”

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