Hampton, VA - The Hampton University School of Pharmacy (HUSOP) received a multi-year grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Heart Lung and Blood Institutes (NIH/NHLBI) to establish a training initiative that will expose underrepresented minority pharmacy students to biomedical research, and help increase their participation in academic research.
Several federal and state institutions including the NIH have recognized the urgent need to expand participation of individuals from underrepresented minorities in all areas of health-related research. The proposed HU-SPEAR (Summer Research Experiences in Academic Research) program will offer a 10-week intensive hands-on research-training course to minority students from the School of Pharmacy.
“The overall goal of this training program is to foster in minority students the desire to pursue a future in health-related research following graduation from pharmacy school," said Dr. Azad.
This multi-year program will involve both didactic and laboratory components, directed under the guidance of faculty mentors both at Hampton and at collaborating institutions, namely West Virginia University and Eastern Virginia Medical School. The HU-SPEAR program represents an important first step for Hampton University School of Pharmacy in training minority students in basic biomedical research.
“An increase in researchers from underrepresented minorities will not only contribute towards a strong and diverse work force, it will also help in tackling important chronic diseases areas such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and pulmonary disorders that disproportionately afflict minority populations’," said Dr. Iyer.
The $427,799 grant will extend through August 2021. Dr. Anand Iyer, Assistant Dean of Academic and Student Affairs and Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences serves as the Principal Investigator (PI), and Dr. Neelam Azad, Chairperson and Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences serves as the co-PI on the grant.