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Stepping up minority recruiting
Date:6/3/2009

ricans make up at least 12 percent of this country's population, they and other emerging majorities are clearly underrepresented in medicine and the health professions," said DeLa Cadena. "Their representation as scientists is even more scant."

Between 2001 and 2005, the School of Medicine ran a similar program the Short-Term Summer Research Program which trained 70 underrepresented students in the health professions. But in 2005 the NIH changed the initiative to promote diversity in research activities, and it's taken DeLa Cadenda three years of fine-tuning to satisfy the NIH's new funding requirements.

"It was so frustrating not to have been able to offer something over the past three years," said DeLa Cadena, "especially when we've witnessed the success we've had with students who took the previous short-term summer program."

Ann Igbre was one of the 70 Temple students who participated in the summer program in 2004. She calls the experience "wonderful."

"The program introduced me to research and really helped me understand the importance of research in medicine," said Igbre. "That summer, I was able to put together a simple research question, test it and see the results. Plus, having that experience on my resume was great when applying for residency."

Now in the ophthalmology residency program at Temple, Igbre is studying racial differences in diabetic retinopathy. She credits the summer program for making her a competitive applicant and is glad to hear that more minority students like her will get opportunities through STEP UP.

The STEP UP grant comes with few strings. The research must be within the scope of areas of interest to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). This requirement places the Cardiovascular Center, the Lung Center and the Thrombosis Research Center in an ideal position to train a future cohort of health professional scientists.

"I strongly believe physician sci
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Contact: Megan Chiplock
chiplock@temple.edu
215-707-1731
Temple University
Source:Eurekalert

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