Education · Uncategorized

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation launches clinical research program

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The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Medical Research Program Awards $4.1M to Eight Institutions to Extend Their Research Programs for High School Students Into College

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) has announced the launch of the Clinical Research Continuum: High School to College program and the eight institutions receiving funding to expand their existing programs for high school students to include additional research experiences for program alumni in college.

With grants totaling $4.1 million, the foundation aims to help these institutions sustain the interest of students, particularly those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical research workforce, in building long-term careers in the field.

The following institutions are the inaugural recipients of this support:

  • Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, Inc.
  • Bradley University
  • Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science
  • Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland
  • Stanford University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Wisconsin Foundation

“The participation of individuals from underrepresented groups is critical for advances in biomedical research and spurs new questions and bold approaches. By exposing diverse high school and college students to the excitement of clinical research, these institutions will encourage them to join the scientific workforce and strengthen its future,” said Betsy Myers, program director for medical research.

Diversity in the biomedical workforce falls extraordinarily short of the diversity of the U.S. population. In 2012, 1.1 percent of the biomedical research workforce was Black and only 3.5 percent was Hispanic, indicating a serious lack of representation of groups that around the same time constituted 12.6 percent and 16.3 percent, respectively, of the U.S. population.[1] Studies also suggest that the college years are a pivotal period of intervention in countering these patterns and encouraging students to continue their pursuits of science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) fields.

For example, the U.S. Department of Education found in 2013 that more than half of all African Americans who entered bachelor’s degree programs in STEM fields ultimately dropped them.[2] The creation of CRC was informed by these findings and is part of the Medical Research Program’s larger goal to support a biomedical research workforce that is more representative of the country’s demographic makeup and therefore more vibrant and productive.

In 2011, DDCF’s Medical Research Program began to support institutions with high school research programs that have the specific goal of supporting students from groups historically absent from the field. That first initiative garnered very positive near-term feedback, with 88 percent of graduates reporting they had conducted their very first research project and 77 percent of graduates stating it had increased their interest in a biomedical research career. The Clinical Research Continuum program builds upon that early success by enabling those institutions to foster the careers of their program’s high school alumni through continued research projects at the college level.

For more information about the Clinical Research Continuum: High School to College program and each institution’s student clinical research programs, click here.

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, child well-being and medical research, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties.

The foundation’s Medical Research Program supports clinical research that advances the translation of biomedical discoveries into new preventions, diagnoses and treatments for human diseases. To learn more about the program, visit www.ddcf.org.

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