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UM receives 5th consecutive Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant for science education
Date:5/21/2010

CORAL GABLES, FL (May 21, 2010).The University of Miami (UM) has been selected to receive a $1.4 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to strengthen the UM undergraduate science education program. The College of Arts and Sciences, where the program resides, will use the resources to help attract first-generation college students and those from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences to pursue careers in science.

"HHMI is committed to funding education programs that excite students' interest in science," says HHMI President Robert Tjian. "We hope that these programs will shape the way students look at the worldwhether those students ultimately choose to pursue a career in science or not."

Since 1994, the University of Miami has benefited from $8 million from HHMI to build a highly successful Bridge program that helps students from nearby Miami Dade College (MDC) transfer to highly selective, four-year colleges and universities. Eighty-two percent of students in the program, which is partially funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, complete bachelor's degrees in the sciences.

"The United States needs more students to pursue careers in science. Consequently, for the past five years, the University of Miami and HHMI have partnered to help students who have not traditionally pursued careers in science complete bachelor's degrees, in preparation for graduate school in the sciences," says Thomas J. LeBlanc, UM executive vice president and provost. "We are delighted that this partnership between HHMI and the University of Miami will continue."

The Bridge program supports a dozen new Bridge scholars each year. About 30 percent go on to medical school, and more than a quarter enroll in Ph.D. programs, says Michael Gaines, professor of Biology, assistant provost and HHMI program director at UM. The new grant is directed at increasing the number seeking the Ph.D.

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Contact: Marie Guma-Diaz
m.gumadiaz@umiami.edu
305-284-1601
University of Miami
Source:Eurekalert  

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