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MU receives $1.1 million training grant to increase diversity in biomedical sciences
Date:11/1/2013

COLUMBIA, Mo. Since 2003, University of Missouri faculty have been working to increase diversity in 30 biomedical sciences departments and programs by recruiting minority students into the MU Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP). Now, a $1.1 million training grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow the program to continue for another four years.

"PREP allows students with very high potential to enhance their academic portfolios and their laboratory expertise and gives them a little more time to scientifically mature so that by the time they apply to a doctoral program they are highly competitive," said Chris Hardin, co-director of the grant and professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. "The goal of the program is to increase the diversity of students entering graduate school in the biomedical sciences by providing research and educational experiences designed to enhance post-baccalaureate students' competitiveness."

Of the 28 scholars who have completed the PREP program at MU since 2003, 22 have been accepted into competitive doctoral programs in a biomedical field, one into medical school, and two into masters programs. They also are finishing their doctoral programs approximately one year earlier than their peers. The new grant will support seven post-baccalaureate students each year with research assistantships in the labs of MU faculty members, and include tuition for coursework and additional professional development training.

Hardin co-directs the program with John David, associate professor of biological sciences, and Michael Garcia, associate professor of biological sciences and an investigator in the Bond Life Sciences Center.

While in the program, scholars are expected to be involved fully in all phases of a faculty-mentored research project, from hypotheses development to communication of results. Scholars work with their faculty mentors to select
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Contact: Melody Kroll
KrollMM@missouri.edu
573-884-4144
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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