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 Alex Branch UNT Health Science Center and FitWorth have collaborated to help people in Fort Worth live healthier lives since 2012. Now the two organizations have strengthened their partnership to make an even bigger impact on the health of the community. FitWorth, which was previousl...Read more
Oct 16, 2019
By Alex Branch Want to hear an inspiring story of innovation in Fort Worth? Meet Cam Sadler. He was a Dunbar High School teacher who cashed in his retirement savings one summer and launched his own start-up company. A few months later, he was in Silicon Valley, the first Fort Worth start-u...Read more
Oct 15, 2019
By Jan Jarvis Ever so gently, Levi Hejl slipped a metal laryngoscope down the patient’s throat. “Tip of the tongue, middle of the tongue, base of the tongue,” he said. “Centimeter by centimeter.” The paramedics gathered around the patient watched closely as Hejl, Clinical Prac...Read more
Oct 15, 2019
By Alex Branch Rachel Miller’s transformation from physician assistant to CEO of her own Forth Worth startup company began as most entrepreneurial ideas do — she saw a problem to fix. Become an HSC Insider! Want to know more about our cutting-edge research, interprofessional...Read more
Oct 14, 2019