The National Institutes of Health announced the awarding of $31 million in grants to 12 universities for programs aimed at increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in biomedical professions and research. The awards were made to a geographically diverse group of institutions serving multiple underrepresented populations in biomedical research. The grantees will develop approaches to training and mentoring to encourage students from underrepresented groups to enter into and stay in research careers.
Francis S. Collins, the director of the NIH, states that “the biomedical research enterprise must engage all sectors of the population in order to solve the most complex biological problems and discover innovative new ways to improve human health. While past efforts to diversify our workforce have had significant impact on individuals, we have not made substantial progress in expanding diversity on a larger scale. This program will test new models of training and mentoring so that we can ultimately attract the best minds from all groups to biomedical research.”
Among the universities receiving grants under the program are two historically Black institutions; Xavier University of Louisiana and Morgan State University in Baltimore. Other participants include Boston College, California State University, Long Beach, California State University, Northridge, Portland State University, San Francisco State University, the University of Alaska, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Detroit Mercy, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and the University of Texas at El Paso.