The Medical College of Wisconsin has received a five-year, $760,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to fund its Diversity Summer Health Research Program. The program aims to increase the number of underrepresented individuals pursuing careers in biomedical and health-related fields by offering students opportunities in stimulating, hands-on laboratory experiences supervised by MCW researchers.
Dawn Bragg, Ph.D., associate dean for student affairs/diversity and associate professor of pediatrics at MCW, and Jeannette Vasquez-Vivar, Ph.D., professor of biophysics and associate director of the redox biology program, are the principal investigators.
MCW will recruit college undergraduate students from diverse populations that are underrepresented in health sciences for a 10-week period during the summer. Qualified students who are accepted into the program are “matched” with an established faculty investigator(s) to participate in a research project(s) addressing the causes, prevention and treatment of cardiovascular, pulmonary and hematological diseases.
“Participants will be matched with mentors and guided in developing investigative knowledge and skills that will help them achieve future career goals and pursue learning as a lifelong process,” Bragg said. “The goal is to work one-on-one with each student to help them map out a plan for advancing to the next step in their academic path and providing them with the tools they need to get there.”
In addition to research project activities, participants will also be exposed to research discussions with the project team, actively participate in MCW seminars, and have time for library research and scientific reading.