Summer Research Program for Diversity Students in PharmacoNeuroImmunology

Project: Research project


? DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The Summer Research Program for Diversity Students in PharmacoNeuroImmuology is a partnership between University of Minnesota, Clark Atlanta University (CAU) and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU) to provide undergraduate under-representative students of diversity an intensive laboratory-based research experience. The overall goal of the program is to increase the participation of underrepresented individuals from diverse backgrounds in research in the biomedical sciences. There is a well-recognized need to train biomedical scientists in an interdisciplinary and translational field that focuses on the interactions of drugs of abuse with the nervous and immune systems, and integrates our understanding of these physiological interactions with their behavioral counterparts. We will accomplish this by providing an intensive 8 week summer research experience at the University of Minnesota for qualified undergraduate students of diversity which will aid their successful entry into biomedical graduate, medical, dental, or publi health related programs. Our proposed comprehensive program will play a significant role in overcoming the still-existing disparities, between minority and non-minority diversity undergraduate and doctoral students at University of Minnesota. Our objectives are to provide the summer undergraduate students with the academic and research skills that are essential to developing their competitiveness toward entering the next phases of their career - i.e., doctoral programs or medical school. The PNI summer program is composed of an intensive laboratory- based research experience that entails close interaction with and mentorship by a training program faculty member that focuses on drug abuse research. This laboratory work is supplemented by a comprehensive educational curriculum, which includes seminars by program faculty on topics in biomedical research, ethics, and laboratory safety, journal clubs, and a focused student research symposium. An innovative component of our proposal is to create and deliver in a flipped classroom format online education modules with small group discussion. The participants will include upper division (sophomore and junior year of undergraduate) students of diversity. The eight week program will be book-ended by an orientation week at the front end and retreat and poster presentation at the backend, accompanied by a short written report of their summer research activities. This training is intended to prepare the students for what is needed and expected to succeed in graduate school, to increase their interest in biomedical research, and to introduce them to research - techniques, methodologies and career options. Two of the major aims of this proposal are Aim 1: To provide interdisciplinary structured research experience in the area of drug abuse; and Aim 2: To provide skill sets for careers in biomedical sciences. Three measures of evaluation include 1) Assessment of the summer research experience by participating undergraduate students and faculty in the program; 2) assessment of the PNI program and 3) assessment of the outcome of students that were in the program.
Effective start/end date7/1/166/30/21


  • National Institutes of Health: $53,621.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $56,495.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $53,091.00


drug abuse
research ethics
interdisciplinary research
school graduate
group discussion
small group
training program