The $24 million grant to Portland State by the National Institutes of Health, announced Wednesday, is another incredible boost to our growing health sciences programs.
Coming on the heels of this fall’s opening of the Collaborative Life Sciences Building, we’re entering a new level of biomedical education at PSU.
This is the biggest research grant in our history, but more importantly it is aimed directly at students. The point is to enroll more underrepresented students in health science programs and guide them into health careers. It’s a wonderful way to mesh our missions of access, diversity and academic excellence with our goal of serving the urban area.
Working with OSHU, we will use the money to ensure people of color, people with disabilities, students raised in foster care and others from disadvantaged backgrounds will get the opportunity to become doctors, nurses, dentists and researchers. This money will provide scholarships, stipends, summer mentoring, job experience and financial aid support -- essentially everything a student would need t o be successful. Students can start applying for the program next fall.
Other partners include Portland Community College, Chemeketa Community College, Clackamas Community College, Clark College, University of Alaska, University of Hawaii, University of Guam, American Samoa Community College and Northern Marianas College. The goal is a West Coast pipeline for training 21st Century healthcare workers.
The PSU grant is part of a larger $240 million investment by the NIH to develop new approaches that engage researchers, including those from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical sciences, and prepare them to thrive in the NIH-funded workforce. PSU is one of 10 primary institutions selected through this initiative, which ultimately supports 50 institutions through partnerships. The awardees will establish a national consortium to develop, implement, and evaluate approaches to encourage students to pursue biomedical research careers.
In addition to aiding underrepresented students, the grant will enhance research at PSU, helping faculty develop proposals to submit to federal agencies.
Here’s what Jonathan Fink, VP of Research and Strategic Partnerships says about the grant: “PSU's ability to win this major award was enhanced by our extensive collaborations with OHSU, and by recent investments in our research infrastructure. As has been shown repeatedly around the country, a single large grant like this has the power to transform universities. We look forward to building on this terrific accomplishment.”
Pictured above - Alan Keys, Catalina Urrutia-Jorde, two PSU students who would qualify for the new program, and Carlos Crespo, NIH grant recipient PSU Professor and Director of the Hatfield School of Community Health.
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