With support from NIH, efforts to diversify biomedical workforce begin at UNTHSC

January 27, 2015

NRMN-NIH-Meeting-WEB

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.

Hannah Valantine, MD

Hannah Valantine, MD

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.

TCOM Big Bend Trip
TCOM Students Partner with TRHA for Big Bend Border Medical Mission Trip

By Steven Bartolotta and Mallory McMahon The Texas Rural Health Association chapter at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth spent spring break on their second annual Big Bend medical mission trip to west Texas. The TRHA student group worked with local rural commu...Read more

Apr 15, 2021

HSC Library
HSC leads health literacy outreach in a seven-state region thanks to $6.4 million grant

By Diane Smith-Pinckney Federal funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will allow The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) to serve as a leader in health literacy outreach. Gibson D. Lewis Health Sciences Library is one of seven Region...Read more

Apr 12, 2021

Stop Six Vaccination Clinic. Hsc Students Help Register Patients To Get The Vaccine.
HSC students help register people for COVID-19 vaccines in hard-to-reach communities

By Diane Smith-Pinckney   HSC student Megan Dole has a mission to help residents in hard-to-reach communities get protected against COVID-19. “The more people who get vaccinated the better,” said Dole, a first-year medical student at Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM)...Read more

Apr 12, 2021

Stop Six Vaccine
HSC Fort Worth, Tarrant County Open COVID-19 Vaccination Location at the Saginaw Recreation Center

By Alex Branch The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) and Tarrant County will open a new COVID-19 vaccination site Tuesday, April 6 at the Saginaw Recreation Center, 633 W. McLeroy Blvd. Tarrant County will allocate the vaccine doses and contact ...Read more

Apr 5, 2021