UDM one of four Detroit colleges awarded NIH grant

A $21.2-million grant awarded to UDM and other colleges will help more undergraduate students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds pursue careers in biomedical research.

Over the next five years, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will give UDM, Wayne State University, Wayne County Community College District and Marygrove $21.2 million toward the program.

“The major purpose of the REBUILD Detroit initiative is to enroll more underrepresented undergraduate students in several disciplines leading to the biomedical sciences,” said UDM President Antoine Garibaldi at an Oct. 22 press conference.

“We also want to give them research training and mentorship activities,” he said. “Therefore, the universities will collaborate so that the students selected for this program will participate in biomedical laboratory research and receive academic training and advising from faculty through their post-graduate studies.”

UDM will be the primary institution managing the grant and UDM faculty will provide research opportunities for the program’s undergraduates.

Marygrove College and Wayne County Community College will be pipeline partners. They will expand the pool of students in the program and co-develop and implement support programs that enable students to learn coursework necessary to enter research careers.

Wayne State will serve as the research partner in the consortium. It will mentor faculty from other institutions in research skills, provide research-training opportunities and provide REBUILD scholars skills development in grant applications, grad-school preparedness and networking opportunities.

“Only 12 grants were given from the first NIH competition,” said Garibaldi.

At the end of the five years, the NIH will look over the recruitment and academic strategies produced and apply them to other institutions across the country.

REBUILD is an acronym for Research Enhancement for Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity.

Garibaldi said that consortium officials felt strongly that they could use the program in Detroit to recruit more students in the biomedical field.

Each school in the consortium had a principal investigator for the grant.

The UDM representative is Dr. Gary Kuleck, dean of the College of Engineering and Science.