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Increasing diversity of future life science researchers
Date:1/7/2011

INDIANAPOLIS The School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has received $943,000 from the National Science Foundation to increase the number and diversity of future life science researchers.

The NSF award establishes an IUPUI Undergraduate Research Mentoring in the Biological Sciences (URM) Program, which will begin in the spring of 2011. URM is designed to broaden participation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and members of other groups historically underrepresented in science in undergraduate research and will provide them with the experience and expertise needed to succeed in doctoral programs leading to basic research careers in the biological sciences.

Two-year fellowships will be awarded to School of Science students selected by the URM program, which includes immersion in intensive research throughout the junior and senior years. Research will concentrate on biosignaling - the ability of life from the microscopic to the whole body or plant level to respond to its environment. Work will focus on cell membranes, protein structure and function, molecular modeling and various other facets of this field.

"We are an urban university with a growing number of talented undergraduates enrolled in the sciences. We also are home to outstanding life sciences research labs. The investigators who run these labs will provide the training and support the URM students need to launch themselves on the path toward a Ph.D. in the biological sciences. We hope that eventually the students will develop their own research programs and mentor future students," said Stephen Randall, Ph.D., associate professor of biological sciences in the School of Science at IUPUI.

Randall is the principal investigator on the NSF grant and URM program director. A plant molecular biologist whose research focuses on gaining a better understanding of cold stress tolerance in plants, his work could help improve the surv
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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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