Volume 2, Issue 2 bullet Summer 2010



National Institutes of Health award Boonshoft School of Medicine $2.1 million for innovative education programs

STREAMS and GRAD-PREP programs provide training, mentorship for aspiring scientists from underrepresented groups, disadvantaged backgrounds

NIH logoThe National Institutes of Health have approved multi-year grants totaling more than $2.1 million to support two innovative Wright State programs that prepare students to pursue careers in biomedical science. The grants will provide $694,440 to fund the Short-Term Training Program to Increase Diversity in Health-Related Research (STREAMS) program through 2015, and $1,486,553 to launch a new GRAD-PREP Scholars program and sustain it through 2014. Both programs are based in the WSU Boonshoft School of Medicine.

The STREAMS program allows college students from across the nation to spend a summer working with faculty mentors to conduct biomedical research in university laboratories. The students, who live on campus for the summer and receive course credit and a stipend for their work, also read and present scientific literature and prepare posters on their work for a research symposium to conclude the program.

Founded in 1994, STREAMS was created to encourage members of underrepresented minorities to consider, and prepare for, careers in biomedical research. Today, the program is also open to students with disabilities. During the summer of 2009, the program drew 16 students from schools throughout Ohio and as far away as Illinois, North Carolina, and Puerto Rico.

Mariana Morris, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Cameron Chumlea, Ph.D., Fels Professor, Department of Community Health, serve as co-directors for STREAMS.

The STREAMS program has a strong track record, with 74 percent of its more than 150 graduates completing (or currently enrolled in) advanced degree programs. Many of them have earned an M.D. or Ph.D. and gone on to successful careers in biomedical research.

In part because of this success, Morris and many of her colleagues decided to create a new, similar program for recent college graduates. The GRAD-PREP program will host students on campus for a year of intensive research and academic training in the biomedical or behavioral sciences. By completing the program, students will acquire significant research skills, experience, and credentials, which should prepare them well to earn admission to — and experience success within — competitive Ph.D. programs.

The GRAD-PREP program is scheduled to welcome its first eight student scholars for the 2010-2011 academic year. Like STREAMS, GRAD-PREP is open to students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, those with disabilities and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition, GRAD-PREP scholars must have earned an undergraduate science degree within 36 months of beginning the program.

For more information, including applications for the programs, visit STREAMS or GRAD-PREP on the Web.