Program aims to foster next generation of minority scientists

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside Indiana Business) -IUPUI has launched a student-focused initiative to increase the numbers of underrepresented minorities and women in neuroscience research. Support for the project comes from a $1.2 million National Institutes of Health grant to fund the Neuroscience Experience and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

NEUROP aims to expose more undergraduate underrepresented minority students to neuroscience research. It’s also designed to serve graduates underrepresented with professional skills training and other opportunities. The main goal of the program is to build a solid foundation for the next generation of minority scientists.

AJ Baucum, an associate professor in the School of Science’s biology department and its neuroscience program is partnering with Steve Boehm, a professor of psychology, director of the undergraduate neuroscience program and primary faculty at the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute, Tabitha Hardy, assistant dean for student development and academic affairs and Ted Cummins, chair of the biology department in the School of Science to help guide the initiative.

“One of the aims of the grant is to particularly target underrepresented groups to give them exposure to these other careers and paths,” Baucum said. “We want to give students the opportunity to figure out what they want to be. If you want to go to medical school, into public policy or any of these different fields, these research experiences will help you do that.”