Promoting diversity in research careers in diabetes, digestive and kidney diseases

  • Bond, Judith S. (CoPI)
  • Matters, Gail (CoPI)
  • Reeves, William Brian (CoPI)
  • Reeves, William W.B (PI)
  • Matters, Gail G.L (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


This proposal is a competitive renewal of this STEP-UP program initially funded in 2007 and renewed in 2011 and 2016. The program is designed to provide short-term experience and training in biomedical research for undergraduate students from racial/ethnic-underrepresented groups, and for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Since 2016, the program has been jointly based at the University of Texas Long School of Medicine in San Antonio and the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, PA under the direction of W. Brian Reeves, MD, Chair of Medicine at UTHSA and Gail Matters, PhD, Associate Professor at Penn State. The program has made targeted recruitment efforts through several minority student organizations which have resulted in a large increase in the number of applications received. Applications exceed available positions by a 5:1 ratio. The outcomes of the program have been excellent. 244 students have matriculated through the Penn State STEP-UP program since its inception with over 75% of students continuing on to higher education in biomedical fields and an additional 15% are employed in biomedical fields. The current proposal builds on the successes of the current STEP-UP program and significantly expands the mentoring activities to provide more sustained, year round, support to the students. The plan provides background and hands-on experience in research related to the mission of NIDDK. The plan also provides for technical advising and mentoring of students during their hands-on research experience at a summer-end research symposium and during the subsequent academic year. The aims of the proposal are: 1. Provide a hands-on research experience through which students will learn how discovery, clinical and translational research are conducted and the results are disseminated to others. 2. Provide year round research experiences, mentoring and career development activities to enhance entry and retention of students in biomedical research. The curriculum will also include discussions on normative standards of conduct, privacy and confidentiality issues, laboratory safety, research integrity, record keeping, data management, and communication skills. Although the primary goal of this proposal is to increase the number and competence of members of underrepresented groups in biomedical research, an important secondary benefit is to expand the proportion of underrepresented population who understand that life-style decisions have great consequences for their personal health and that of their family, friends and community.
Effective start/end date6/1/073/31/24


  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: $177,273.00
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: $378,427.00


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