Posted June 13, 2008
COLUMBIA, MO - The National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) recently awarded a $1.84 million grant to the University of Missouri. The grant will provide opportunities for minority students to earn doctoral degrees and become scientific leaders in biomedical research.
Through the Nexus Minority Science Network (NMSN) at MU, this NIH grant will provide support for 40 undergraduate and six graduate students to participate in mentored research projects with MU faculty members. Students in this program will be eligible for career development activities, Graduate Record Exam preparatory classes, and travel funds to present their research at scientific conferences.
“MU plays a critical role in Missouri in educating biomedical researchers at the undergraduate and graduate levels,” said Linda Blockus, director of undergraduate research. “The programs supported by this NIH grant will ensure that MU continues to educate a diverse workforce to address some of the most critical concerns of our state and nation including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, nutrition and the aging population.”
The NMSN, established in 2007 by representatives of the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center and the Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, unites undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral and faculty researchers for the purpose of training young scientists.
MU has several programs for underrepresented minority students in the sciences. The McNair Scholars Program prepares juniors and seniors for graduate school by providing opportunities for students to conduct research.
The EXPRESS program, which is part of the Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, is offered to freshmen and sophomores from underrepresented ethnic groups. Students in the program work part time in science laboratories, participate in research projects, and receive mentoring from faculty, graduate students and other laboratory team members.