Institutes of Health award Boonshoft School of Medicine $2.1 million for
innovative education programs
and GRAD-PREP programs provide training, mentorship for aspiring scientists
from underrepresented groups, disadvantaged backgrounds
The 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
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.
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
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
For more information, including applications for the programs, visit STREAMS or GRAD-PREP on the Web.