CSULB Receives $4.45 Million Grant For The Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement Program

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California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) has announced it has received a $4.45 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund the next five years (2015-20) of its Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Program. The funding will utilize RISE to create a pipeline of CSULB students who come from backgrounds underrepresented in the biomedical sciences who will go on to enter Ph.D. programs in related fields and become biomedical researchers.

“More and more institutions are recognizing the high caliber of CSULB’s research activities, and Ph.D.-awarding institutions are increasingly seeking our students for entry into their programs,” said Paul Buonora, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at CSULB who is spearheading the project. “This element of the RISE program will develop within underrepresented students the knowledge of the career opportunities presented to research scientists as well as the skills necessary to enter into and be successful in a Ph.D. program in the biological sciences.”

In addition to increasing the number of underrepresented students graduating in biomedical related fields, other goals of the program include preparing students who are fully steeped in the research culture and ethical practice of biomedical research professionals, and increasing the number of underrepresented students who apply and enter doctoral programs in biomedical fields.

To accomplish these goals, the program will offer students research experiences working with a skilled faculty research mentor from CSULB. Additionally, students will participate in training activities that enhance scientific knowledge and research skills and access to financial and education resources. Students will also have the opportunity to travel and present their research at the national level. The program will be comprised of two pathways – one for undergraduates and one for students pursuing an M.S.

“Diversity in biomedical research is critical to providing the different perspectives that are needed to solve the current and future health-related problems our society faces,” added Buonora.  “The diversity of CSULB’s student population and the cutting-edge research that so many of our faculty are engaging in make this university an ideal place for this type of project to find success.”

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