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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v16.i3.20
pages 215-235

DIVERSIFYING BIOMEDICAL TRAINING: A SYNERGISTIC INTERVENTION

Gina Sanchez Gibau
Department of Anthropology, Indiana University School of Liberal Arts, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA
Julie Foertsch
Leading Edge Evaluation & Consulting, LLC, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403, USA
Janice Blum
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202-5120, USA
Randy R. Brutkiewicz
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine, The Walther Oncology Center, Building R2, Room 302, 950 W. Walnut St., Indianapolis, IN 46202-5181
Sherry Queener
Department of Pharmacology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA
Ann Roman
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202-5120, USA
Simon J. Rhodes
Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202-5120, USA
Michael Sturek
Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202-5120, USA
David S. Wilkes
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202-5120, USA
Hal Broxmeyer
NCI-Designated Indiana University Simon Cancer Center, Program on Hematopoiesis, Heme Malignancies, and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202-5181, USA

ABSTRACT

For over three decades, the scientific community has expressed concern over the paucity of African American, Latino, and Native American researchers in the biomedical training pipeline. Concern has been expressed regarding what is forecasted as a shortage of these underrepresented minority (URM) scientists given the demographic shifts occurring worldwide and particularly in the United States. Increased access to graduate education has made a positive contribution in addressing this disparity. This article describes the multiple pathway approaches that have been employed by a school of medicine at an urban Midwest research institution to increase the number of URM students enrolled in, and graduating from, doctoral programs within basic science departments, through the combination of R25 grants and other grant programs funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This article outlines the process of implementing a strong synergistic approach to the training of URM students through linkages between the NIH-funded "Bridges to the Doctorate (BRIDGES)" and "Initiative for Maximizing Graduate Student Diversity (IMGSD)" programs. The article documents the specific gains witnessed by this particular institution and identifies key components of the interventions that may prove useful for institutions seeking to increment the biomedical pipeline with scientists from diverse backgrounds.