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Van Andel Institute Partners with UNCF to Recruit Students to Biomedical Research Careers

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Dec. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI) has signed an agreement with UNCF (United Negro College Fund) to cooperatively recruit students interested in research training in the biomedical sciences, specifically in the cellular, molecular, and genetic biology of human disease.   

Under the terms of the joint initiative, UNCF and VAEI will work together to recruit qualified students at historically black institutions and place them in two programs: the Van Andel Institute Summer Internship Program and the Van Andel Institute Graduate School doctoral program.

African Americans currently hold less than three percent of U.S. doctoral degrees in biology, chemistry, and engineering.

"UNCF has a wealth of experience in helping students of color get the education they need to launch careers in the sciences," said UNCF president and CEO Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D.  "We are delighted to partner with Van Andel Education Institute to identify well-prepared and highly-motivated students at historically black colleges and universities who can make the most of this opportunity to launch careers, serve the public, and build a diverse pipeline of young American scientists."

The VAI Summer Internship Program is a paid internship program that provides undergraduate college students opportunities to be mentored by professionals in their chosen research field, to become familiar with the use of state-of-the-art scientific equipment and technology, and to learn valuable presentation skills. The Van Andel Institute Graduate School (VAIGS) is a unique Ph.D. program in cellular, molecular, and genetic biology of human disease. The innovative problem-based curriculum leads students to a strong foundation in core concepts and experimental design by simulating how scientists approach new research questions.

"Van Andel Institute currently has scientists, post-doctoral fellows, and students from more than twenty nations working in its labs," said VAEI Director and VAIGS Dean Steven J. Triezenberg, Ph.D. "We are a very diverse institute whose only selection and hiring criteria are those of excellence and the ability to speak the common language of science. We welcome and celebrate further diversity."

For more information, please see full release at:

SOURCE Van Andel Education Institute
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