The program is designed to facilitate admission for minority students from Incarnate Word and UT Pan American into biomedical doctoral programs at the Health Science Center and to allow faculty members at the three institutions to work together on research activities.
The program is funded by an initial two-year, $302,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
"This program is a true example of strength in numbers," said Miguel Nevrez, PhD, president of UT Pan American. "The partnership being forged by the South Texas Doctoral Bridge Program will allow our graduate students to build a strong academic base for doctoral study in biomedical sciences at the UT Health Science Center," Dr. Nevrez said. "This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to advance."
John P. Howe III, MD, president of the Health Science Center, said he is pleased with the agreement. "We are looking forward to great things coming from these young scientists we are helping with this new initiative," he said. "This is another example of the strong commitment the Health Science Center has to South Texas. We are proud to be partners with UT Pan American and Incarnate Word in this exciting regional program."
Students enrolled in master's programs at Incarnate Word or UT Pan American will be supported as research assistants at their respective institutions through this grant. Two students from each institution will participate each year. They will spend one summer working in a laboratory at the Health Science Center paired with a faculty member with a research interest similar to that of the student's thesis.
At the signing of the agreement recently on the UT Pan American campus, U.S. Rep. Kika de la Garza, D-Texas, said the collaboration by the three institutions was a good example of the shared commitment necessary to bring underrepresented Texans into higher education and the biomedical sciences.
The program will be coordinated at the Health Science Center by Miguel Medina, PhD, associate dean for student affairs in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.