With support from NIH, efforts to diversify biomedical workforce begin at UNTHSC
A national effort to increase the number of researchers from underrepresented minority backgrounds in the biomedical and behavioral workforce is beginning to take shape after a recent meeting at UNT Health Science Center.
A kickoff meeting for the newly formed National Research Mentoring Network featured the project’s four principal investigators -including UNTHSC’s Jamboor K. Vishwanatha, PhD - as well as Hannah Valantine, MD, the Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity at the National Institutes of Health.
UNTHSC is sharing a five-year, $19.2 million NIH grant – announced in October – to form the network. The partnering institutions are Boston College, University of Wisconsin, Morehouse School of Medicine and University of Minnesota.
The National Research Mentoring Network is one part of the NIH’s $500 million plan over 10 years to develop new approaches aimed at helping researchers from underrepresented backgrounds thrive in biomedical careers. The mentoring network’s aim is to diversify the scientific workforce by encouraging individuals from underrepresented groups to start and stay in biomedical careers.
Nationally, the number of faculty members from underrepresented groups in the biomedical sciences has remained stagnant for about 30 years. Numerous studies indicate that when controlling for all variables, researchers from minority backgrounds are not as successful at securing large NIH grants when compared to their peers.
“We are deeply appreciative of the NIH’s support of this initiative and proud to take a leading role,” Dr. Vishwanatha said.
In addition to Dr. Vishwanatha, who heads the project’s Networking and Mentorship Core, the network is led by David Burgess, PhD, of Boston College; Christine Pfund, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin; and Kolawole Okuyemi, MD, MPH, of the University of Minnesota.
UNTHSC already has hired a program manager and a technical project manager and is recruiting a social media coordinator and administrative assistant. Dr. Harlan Jones, Director of the Center for Diversity and International Programs at UNTHSC, is associate director of the network’s Professional Development core, along with Dr. Vishwanatha.
By Jan Jarvis The thoughts whispering at Anna Black never took a rest – ever. They followed her through junior high, then into college. “I believed I had to be perfect in everything I did,” she said. “Getting a 95 was unacceptable.” For a while, she was able to manage he...Read more
Feb 18, 2019
By Alex Branch As a child, Debbie Montenegro was the girl who often showed up school in a Yoda, Spock or outer space-themed shirt. “I didn’t realize it at the time, but my mom had to buy those shirts from the boy’s section because they didn’t make those clothes for girls then,” s...Read more
Feb 13, 2019
By Alex Branch All Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine graduates go on to serve the communities in which they practice medicine. But each year, several also elect to serve their country. Five 2019 graduates of UNT Health Science Center’s original medical school will train at U.S. military ...Read more
Feb 12, 2019
By Alex Branch For Jeff Beeson, DO, a personal connection to the Cowtown Marathon began when organizers planned the inaugural 1979 run. His father, Don Beeson, was the chief of police at what was then the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, which founded the marathon. During a planning ...Read more
Feb 11, 2019