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NINDS Health Disparities Planning Meeting for Neuroscience Scholars Programs


 
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NINDS Health Disparities Planning Meeting for Neuroscience Scholars Programs

October 5, 2001
Embassy Suites at the Chevy Chase Pavilion
Washington, DC

 

Introduction

The purpose of the Neuroscience Scholars Program is to assist scientific societies in designing and implementing innovative training and career development activities to better promote diversity and inclusion in the national workforce. This planning panel convened invited representatives of various national scientific organizations to discuss and provide advice on specific strategies to foster increased numbers of well-trained minority neuroscientists to meet our future scientific and technology needs.

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Background

Data taken from the National Academy of Sciences Report (2000) entitled "Addressing the Nation's Changing Needs for Biomedical and Behavioral Scientists" demonstrates that the proportion of racial/ethnic minorities receiving scientific graduate degrees and National Research Service Awards is not representative of the general population. Moreover, the Society for Neuroscience (SFN) membership survey in 1995 demonstrates the same trend within the field of neuroscience, specifically. Both surveys indicate that African American, Hispanic American and Native Americans are the most underrepresented populations. The NIH recognizes that success in building an effective biomedical research infrastructure, and our ability to deliver research benefits to at-risk populations requires a commitment to training and supporting investigators from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has a number of programs to sustain and increase our scientific progress through the recruitment, training, support and retention of diverse biomedical investigators. One program initiative to support biomedical research, research infrastructure and educational outreach at minority institutions is the Specialized Neuroscience Research Program (SNRP). The prototype of the SNRP was piloted at Morehouse School of Medicine in 1994. The SNRP programmatic goals are to: (1) help minority institutions develop state-of-the-art neuroscience research programs; (2) facilitate research collaborations and professional networks with National Institutes of Health (NIH) and/or National Science Foundation (NSF) grantees employed by research intensive institutions; (3) increase the role of ongoing research in maintaining a stimulating intellectual milieu to inspire students and fellows to pursue research careers in neuroscience; and (4) provide support for the pilot research needed to help ensure successful competition for traditional research project grants during the performance period of the award. There are currently 11 such Specialized Center Cooperative Agreements around the country forming a network with 32 collaborating institutions. In addition to these programs, we support Collaborative Neurological Sciences Awards that fund investigator-initiated collaborative research aimed at developing independent neuroscience research programs at minority institutions. These grants are also designed to help young investigators achieve traditional research grant funding during the period of award. In addition, the Ernest Everett Just Faculty Career Development Award provides support for researchers during a period of intense, supervised research conducted at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). There is a planned expansion of this program to minority individuals at other institutions as well. The NINDS also participates in the NIH Research Supplements for Underrepresented Minorities Program. This program is designed to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in biomedical research. The NINDS adds Terms and Conditions to the Notice of Grant Awards when these applications are funded requiring the submission of independent grant applications during the period of the award to enhance the transition of young scientists to independent careers.

NINDS/NIH has instituted programs aimed at increasing the proportion of underrepresented minorities receiving National Research Service Awards as well. For example, the Matching Supplements to Institutional National Research Services Awards Program supports additional slots on training grants if the program recruits and appoints pre- or postdoctoral fellows from underrepresented minority groups. The NINDS also participates in the Institutional Research Training Program: Increasing Diversity, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and co-sponsored by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) which is designed to significantly enhance the number of minority scientists trained to conduct research in mental health, mental illness, drug abuse, and the neurological sciences. Finally, the NINDS has a minority Predoctoral fellowship award intended to provide opportunities for graduate students to participate in clinical or basic laboratory research.

Currently, the NINDS also supports two educational programs to promote diversity through scientific societies. The Society for Neuroscience Travel Fellowship Program is intended to increase the number of pre- and postdoctoral fellows from minority groups who are underrepresented in the field of neuroscience research by supporting their travel to training programs. The Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) identifies, recruits, and develops minority pre- and postdoctoral students to engage in cutting-edge neuroscience research. In both of these programs, students participate in seminars and summer enrichment activities that will enhance their career advancement in the field of neuroscience. The NINDS would like to expand these programs to other societies and include a variety of additional enrichment activities. Potential activities to broaden the range of student experience and increase mentorship opportunities for selected scholars in such programs may include but are not limited to:

  • Providing travel fellowship awards to selected members to attend national meetings;
  • Providing a menu of enrichment activities for brief research training and career development opportunities in the extramural neuroscience community;
  • Sending selected scholars to technical and education assistance workshops at laboratories such as Cold Spring Harbor and Woods Hole;
  • Enhancing opportunities for students and young scientists to develop mentor relationships with prominent neuroscience investigators;
  • Developing and supporting web-based professional networks to assist member institutions to identify qualified faculty, students, and fellows to take positions in academic, medical, and industrial research settings; and
  • Promoting outreach/recruitment to undergraduate programs and high schools.

The Planning Panel was charged with focusing on four main goals:

  • To develop specific programs and activities to promote diversity in the neuroscience workforce.
  • To establish selection criteria for scholars within these programs.
  • To determine review criteria for these applications.
  • To create reasonable outcome measures for the evaluation of these programs.

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Presentations

Dr. Joe Martinez, Professor at the University of Texas, San Antonio has been involved in a number of education programs to promote diversity in neuroscience research. Dr. Martinez has served on the Minority Education and Training Professional Advancement Committee of the SFN Program, is currently responsible for the neuroscience component of the SACNAS Program and is the Principal Investigator (PI) for the Summer Program in Neuroscience, Ethics, and Survival (SPINES) through the Marine Biological Laboratory. Dr. Martinez described these three programs for the panel.

The Society for Neuroscience Travel Fellowship Program identifies students and brings them to the Annual Society Meeting to "elevate them to the highest levels of social interaction in the society." These students are assigned mentors, SFN members who volunteer to provide mentorship to these students over a period of a year or longer. This affords students with an opportunity to meet with senior scientists, whom they may not normally be able to interact with on such a level, receive valuable scientific and career advice as well as broaden their scientific network.

The SACNAS Program, currently a supplement to a SACNAS training grant through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), identifies five scholars per year through the Society to attend the meeting and receive mentoring similar to the SFN program. They are also given a stipend to attend other meetings, summer enrichment activities, etc.

Dr. Martinez then reviewed the structure and documented effectiveness of the SPINES program. According to Dr. Martinez, SPINES, initially sponsored by the American Psychological Association (APA), has been successful because it recruits carefully, provides a detailed and useful learning experience, and has clearly defined expectations of its participants.

Recruitment. SPINES is listed as a research option on the Marine Biological Laboratory Web site and in its Guide to Education. The APA's Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) is also actively marketing SPINES by sending approximately 4,000 brochures each year to NIMH training directors; Association of Neuroscience Departments and Programs (ANDP) directors; friends of the MFP; HBCUs, and psychology and biology departments in academic institutions throughout the country. In 2000, the program received 41 applications. Students have come from 36 schools (including the University of Puerto Rico).

Programming. Each year, student schedules include didactic exchange and other events that address such topics as:

  • Responsible conduct of research. Students create case studies that focus on ethical dilemmas; these are compiled and used as starting points for discussion from summer to summer.
  • Neuroscience concepts. Students attend lectures presented by specialists in neural systems and behavior and various other topics of neurobiology.
  • Neuroscience seminars. These seminars expose students to the wide range of neuroscience research areas.
  • Survival skills for research careers. This element of the program is one of its cornerstones, and it has been one of the most highly evaluated. Students develop a range of skills and attend workshops, lectures, and discussions.
  • Issues for minorities in science. This component includes reading and discussion, with occasional lectures and presentations by visiting speakers.
  • Research experience. Participants spend 4 weeks conducting research in the lab of an established scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory, after which he/she will submit a report of the research experience and what techniques were learned.

Expectations. SPINES graduates are expected to:

  • Apply for postdoctoral work and funding using NIH and other Federal mechanisms;
  • Undertake postdoctoral work in the highest Carnegie-classified universities, and eventually to receive tenure;
  • Publish in highly rated scientific journals;
  • Apply for and receive RO1 and other grant support; and
  • Be promoted to full professor.

Dr. Martinez concluded by noting that the first SPINES students are now assistant professors at the University of Puerto Rico, the University of El Paso, Tufts University, and Wichita University. Two have been promoted to associate professor, and one has earned tenure. A now-deceased graduate was an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts. SPINES students have received R29, NSF, and development grants. Today, 60 percent of SPINES graduates are in academia, 30 percent are working for the government, and 10 percent are employed in private industry. SPINES hopes to track graduates throughout their careers.

Dr. Martin Frank, Executive Director of the American Physiology Society (APS) reviewed the various minority outreach programs sponsored by the APS. These programs vary in their target age range from K-4 programs such as My Health, My World, a project that involves the development of science-based comic books, to a Summer Teacher Research Program which puts middle and high school science teachers into research settings so they can learn about the scientific method and see how animals are used humanely in research. They also sponsor a Summer Undergraduate Research Program, where students are placed in research laboratories for the summer, giving them mentorship and experience in research methodologies and a Minority Travel Program which allows undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty to attend APS annual meetings and receive mentorship. They currently have a Native American Program in Montana to engage middle school, high school, and Tribal College faculty in laboratories during the summer as well as a program entitled Physiology Insights for 2 to 4-year college faculty, especially from minority institutions. Finally, in order to promote effective program evaluation, a critical aspect of any of these programs, the APS is developing a CD-ROM tool to assist program directors in evaluating the efficacy of their minority recruitment/retention programs.

The R25 Process - presented by Dr. Joe Martinez

There are several issues to consider when assembling an education program for the NIH. The application for an R25 Education Grant to the NIH follows standard procedures including the PHS 398 forms (i.e. budget, other resources, biographical sketches, etc.). One must investigate with their scientific society how the by-laws are structured regarding PI status for this type of grant. For example, in the case of SACNAS, the president of the Society has to be the PI of every grant and the president rotates every two years. However, in the case of the APA, an investigator can be the PI. These guidelines vary by organization. Dr. Martinez recommended establishing a memorandum of understanding (MOU), if according to the Society by-laws, the investigator cannot be the PI, to outline the roles and responsibilities of the Program Director and the PI.

The application must clearly delineate what the goals of the program are and through what mechanisms the PI intends to achieve those goals. An Advisory and/or Selection Committee must be established, consisting of eminent people in the field. In addition to a selection meeting, a program director may have program development meetings in which policy can be discussed. For example, does the program accept GRE scores; is there a cutoff; are minimal GREs a concern; are students allowed to select their summer program or are they provided with a menu; etc.? A critical component of the application is an evaluation plan. A program must be able to document success over the long run. What are the intermediate goals of the program: to increase the numbers of students that participate in the program; to increase the number of scientific presentations they make; to increase the number and scope of meetings attended, etc.? What are the long-term goals of the program: the number of students that received fellowships; the number who have received faculty appointments; the type of institutions; the number who have made major presentations in scientific meetings, etc.? Be careful to tailor the goals to the stage of the program development. If the program is in the second five years and some of the graduates can reasonably be expected to have faculty positions, then include that in the evaluation. If the type of program that is being sponsored is focused on K-12 education through a high school science teachers program, for example, you may not be tracking what happens to the students but rather the teachers and the quality of the education. For example, one measure may be to increase the number of students that submit science projects for competition in their high school science fairs. Be sure to include a reasonable budget to allow for an adequate evaluation process.

A major concern when assembling any grant application is what the review considerations will be. It will be critical to document everything that will facilitate an understanding of whether or not the program will achieve its goals. The traditional criteria for evaluation of a NIH grant are significance, approach, innovation, investigator and environment. The significance of these programs is relatively straightforward and the explicit goals of the program are likely to be described by the language of either the request for applications (RFA) or the program announcement (PA). The approach for achieving these goals, however, will differentiate between various programs. It is critical that the PI document all aspects of the program well. For example, the PI should document (1) the applicant's experience in identifying potential trainees, (2) how information regarding the program is disseminated, (3) the criteria for selecting scholars, (4) what the enrichment activities will be and how they will be selected, (5) the institution's tradition of training, (6) the mentoring capability of the investigator who is hosting the trainee, (7) the caliber of the students, (8) the quality of the mentor's research program, (9) the mechanisms of receiving feedback from the students etc. These issues are among the many critical elements necessary to present a comprehensive application.

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Discussion

The discussion was opened to raise the broad issues that need to be addressed in order to promote diversity within the neuroscience research community. The following topics and possible suggestions for addressing some of them were discussed. Finally, recommendations regarding potential enrichment activities, selection criteria for scholars, program outcome measures and review criteria were made.

Early Education - It is critical to identify and support future neuroscientists at the earliest possible point in their education. Students need to be exposed to what research in an academic setting is like while they are deciding on a future career. For example, inclusion of undergraduate and high school institutions in recruiting efforts will help address this issue. For the last four years, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has been working with high schools along the central San Joaquin Valley resulting in a 20 percent recruitment rate into the biomedical sciences. Students spend entire summers with faculty at UCSF for a nominal stipend, which results in a paper or presentation. If young people interact with research early on, they discover the broad range of possibilities.

The importance of sensitizing everyone to the value of research was therefore stressed. However, many feel that students need to be exposed even earlier, noting that American children do not get an adequate education during their primary and secondary school years in order for them to be qualified to go into scientific careers in college. K-12 programs could help in this arena. Curricula need to be developed and teachers trained to emphasize science during the primary school years. A number of K-12 programs already exist (i.e. Rural Systemic Initiatives, the National Science Education Standards that were proposed by the Academy, the Urban Systemic Initiatives, etc.) It is critical that anyone entering the K-12 arena now is aware of what has already been done. In addition to content knowledge, it is critical that process skills are assessed as well. For example, do the teachers know how to set up a problem; what kind of data to collect and how to set up an experiment; do they know how to analyze the data; draw conclusions and pose the next question? These are critical skills that young people need to learn to ultimately become successful scientists. Another critical issue for K-12 education is a strong focus on integrating technology. Teachers are receiving computers for their classrooms; however, little training is given in how best to use them. The APS has received a tremendous response for giving teachers models for how to use computers in the classroom and integrate them into science education lessons so that they enhance learning.

Recruitment -

  • Universities networking with high school educators.
  • Recruiting websites. These websites must be maintained to remain accurate and up-to-date. Funds for website maintenance, including personnel, should be included in any grant application.
  • Outreach from graduates of summer training programs. Previous trainees who meet with the high school students and their parents can have a dramatic impact on the recruitment of future trainees.

GRE Scores - In the panel's experience GRE scores are poor predictors of success in minority populations; therefore, the selection factors used for scholars in these programs are critical. For example, many of the students who graduated from SPINES had poor GRE results; the SPINES selection committee took nontraditional factors into consideration. In addition to looking at the traditional criteria, such as grades and achievement or aptitude scores, the committee examined personal histories, to assess motivation and goals, and letters of recommendation. The GRE may have some importance but only at the very lowest scores as they may indicate that certain applicants may truly not have many of the language or mathematical skills necessary to succeed.

Retention - A critical issue in addition to recruiting minority students is retaining them. More minority students are lost at critical career transition points than non-minority students. It is essential to identify these transition points and the cause for the attrition in order to improve retention. Mentors are critical to ensure the retention and success of minority scientists. Any efforts at mentoring should be grounded in day-to-day occurrences in a research/professional setting. Case-based scenarios could be useful to educate mentors on various ethical, professional and cultural issues. In addition to having experts on cross-cultural issues write case studies, students may write their own cases for discussion to address issues of relevance to them. These cases could be used in a variety of forums by bringing together faculty and students at a society conference, summer training course, or making materials web accessible. Funding could include travel money and costs for preparing and disseminating materials. An alternative may be to organize a traveling circus going to campuses to bring this type of forum to various institutions. In addition, a way to conduct training on the Web could be established and mentoring standards set so that students can benefit from electronic mentoring. Another suggestion is to incorporate mentoring criteria into postdoctoral proposals and to have it addressed directly in all training proposals.

Increasing the number of mentors at teaching institutions - One proposal for increasing available mentors at teaching institutions is the Seeing Post Doctoral Innovators in Research and Education (SPIRE) Program run by Dr. Gerry Oxford at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This program identifies post-doctoral fellows who are interested in combined research and teaching careers. The first 2 years of the program are spent in the lab, and during this period, the student is assigned a teaching mentor. The next 3 years are spent at an HBCU teaching with a mentor. These post-doctoral fellows develop course work and teach science-related classes. There is money available for release time and some educational expenses. The result is an ongoing advisory structure and highly motivated postdoctoral candidates.

Coalition building - Increasing the interactions between minority institutions and majority institutions is also seen as critically important for facilitating mentor relationships between minority students and majority and minority mentors at other institutions.

Attending meetings - The Radiological Society of North America has several programs to enhance the meeting experience for residents. For example, for entry-level residents, there is a program where directors nominate one entry level resident. 100 scholars are selected from across the country. They have a workshop that parallels the meeting where a group of mentors trains them in how to analyze a meeting, how to dissect a journal article, how to look at posters, etc. For senior level residents, there is a program in which they are sent to a meeting for a specific purpose at the end of which, they have one month to write and submit an article that will be published after peer review.

Tracking - According to Dr. Matyas of the APS, in 1995, approximately 20 percent of programs tracked their students. Programs must have very specific requirements on program evaluation and the outcome measures for training programs should be consistent. Tracking people longitudinally takes staff, as well as the development of a specific "needs assessment" tool and logical objectives. It is critical that a program director conducts a "needs assessment" for their community prior to submitting an application. In addition, each program should focus on a specific area, i.e. goals for their program and specific measurable objectives. For example, SPINES has intermediate objectives that are necessary for a person to end up being a full professor so they can track and see that these students are making those professional steps leading to their long-term objectives.

Perhaps a central tracking evaluation program would be something to consider. One reason for this is that many students have been through several different programs and the question then becomes which one really contributed to their success.

Review - Teachers from lower socioeconomic schools do not always assemble as competitive an application as do teachers from suburban schools due to a lack of experience. In order not to penalize these programs, the review criteria can be set up with a point system which forces reviewers to place value in each of the different categories of experience. The same thing can be done in evaluating a researcher. For example, they cannot gain points by only being a high-powered researcher. They have to have points that show that they are going to interact with the teacher; they are going to engage in other activities, etc. In addition, it is beneficial to have past participants in the program serve on the selection panel. Finally, it may be beneficial to set aside a number of fellowships for trainees who did not make the top 30 percent. That group is often indistinguishable from the top applicants by the time they get through the summer research experience.

Additional types of awards -

  • Awards where individuals are nominated based on a demonstration of exceptional individual achievement in scientific research of sufficient quality to be placed at the forefront of his or her peers. Criteria may also include originality, innovation and a significant impact on the individual's field. Recipients of this award would receive a $500,000 award over three years for scientific research or advanced study in any field of science, plus a medal and other recognition.
  • Portable fellowship for an assistant professor to provide them with funds for research and lab renovations, for example. A program such as this makes this person wanted by the university community because they have been recognized for their research potential.
  • Package of awards - For example, awards to develop research infrastructure at a HBCU paired with a research fellowship paired with a grant that allows them to partner with a majority institution.
  • A minority-training program for integrative science.

Matching funds from the institution - Encouraging either institutional support or private support that might be able to "double the bang for the buck". However, representatives from the Tribal Colleges in science areas say that if the matching of funds is required, many Tribal Colleges will not be able to participate.

Chapter/regional level initiatives - There might be opportunities for chapter level initiatives, with the Society for Neuroscience for example, that might open up the level of creativity in design. With regard to review, however, it is critical to not mix the two types of programs because the mindset of a group of reviewers is going to be either national or local.

Native American Issues - There is a problem in which applicants have claimed to be Native American when they are not. Programs should require the presentation of Tribal identification from applicants asserting their Native American heritage. In addition, 8% F&A costs are insufficient for many of the Tribal Colleges. A way for Tribal Colleges to negotiate F & A costs for this type of award mechanism would increase their ability to participate.

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Recommendations

  • Develop science curricula for K-12 education
  • Train K-12 teachers in science content and process skills
  • Increase the interactions between minority and majority institutions
  • Additional types of awards -
    • Nomination-based awards.
    • Portable fellowships for assistant professors to demonstrate recognized research potential and increase recruitment potential
    • Packages of awards
    • A minority-training program for integrative science.
  • Encouraging (but not requiring) either institutional or private matching support
  • Recruitment -
    • Universities networking with high school educators.
    • Recruiting websites.
    • Outreach from graduates of summer training programs.
  • Programs should require the presentation of Tribal identification from applicants asserting their Native American heritage.
  • Enrichment Activities
    • Mentoring mentors program - take case studies from students and others with experience with minority and career development issues to present to potential mentors and students through workshops
    • Visiting tour of graduate students from minority institutions to meet faculty at various institutions - provides opportunity to plug into a network at majority institutions
    • Leadership workshops
    • Facilitate mentoring of minority students with mentors at different institutions
    • Biography program - to educate future minority neuroscientists of the contributions that have been made by their predecessors.
    • Weekend retreats in which students put together a scientific program, talk about the science, as well as some of the issues they face, perhaps in conjunction with an annual meeting.
    • Cultural sensitivity training for teachers/faculty
    • Trainee participation in publication process - working in an editorial or review capacity at a scientific journal.
    • Travel to meetings - proof of participation; building networks
      • Workshop during the meeting to show fellows how to dissect journal articles, evaluate posters, present, etc.
    • Re-education of high school science teachers - sabbatical money for high school teachers to be relieved of their educational responsibility so that they can become re-educated to participate in modern science
    • Integrating technology into classrooms
    • High school summer research training programs
  • Selection criteria for scholars
    • Grades
    • Aptitude scores - more as a low cut-off
    • Personal histories
    • Goals
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Selection panel - past participants in the program; should have experience reviewing minority documents to identify potentially successful applicants despite low scores
    • Set aside slots for people who wouldn't normally appear competitive
  • Outcome measures (Specific requirements)
    • Increasing the number of students participating in the program
    • Increasing the number of scientific presentations made by trainees
    • Increase the number of meetings/workshops trainees attend
    • Increase the number of applications and awards from NIH and other federal agencies
    • Publication record by trainees
    • Success in the next career stage
  • Review criteria
    • Goals/significance
    • Approach
    • Investigator/trainers/committees - administrative structure
    • Relationship between institution and association
    • How will competition be advertised - web, fliers, ads, etc.
    • Caliber and size of applicant pool
    • Mentoring capability and quality of research programs at mentor institutions
    • Selection criteria for trainees
    • Selection criteria for Meetings and workshops
    • Details as to activities within scientific meetings with which individuals will be involved (proof of participation-presentations, reports, etc.)
    • Mechanism for getting feedback from students
    • Tracking - specific requirements on program evaluation are necessary
      • Needs assessment in their region
      • Focus on a specific area (K-12 vs. postdoc)
      • Goals and specific measurable objectives
      • Formative and summative evaluation
      • Should be followed throughout a career
      • Central tracking evaluation program

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Participants

Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science
Joe L. Martinez, Jr., Ph.D.
Ewing Halsell Professor
Division of Life Sciences
The University of Texas at San Antonio
American Association of Anatomists
Donald A. Fischman, M.D.
Harvey Klein Professor of Biomedical Sciences
Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy
Weill Medical College of Cornell University
American Physiology Society

Martin Frank, Ph.D.
Executive Director
American Physiological Society

Marsha L. Matyas, Ph.D.
Education Officer
American Physiological Society

Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association
Sundeep Nayak, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
American Indian Science & Engineering Society
Judy M. Gobert, Ph.D., A.B.D.
Dean, College of Math and Science
Indigenous Math and Science Institute (IMSI)
Salish Kootenai College
Association of Neuroscience Departments and Programs (ANDP)

Thomas O. Fox, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Graduate Education
Director of Graduate Studies
Division of Medical Sciences
Harvard Medical School

Gerry S. Oxford, Ph.D.
Director, UNC Neurobiology Curriculum
Department of Cell & Molecular Physiology
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

National Medical Association

Gary Dennis, M.D.
Associate Professor
Howard University
College of Medicine
Department of Surgery-Neurosurgery

LaRoy P. Penix, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Neuroscience Institute
Morehouse School of Medicine

Association of American Indian Physicians

James W. Thompson, M.D., M.P.H.
Director
Division of Education, Minority, and National Programs
American Psychiatric Association

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NINDS Staff

Alfred W. Gordon, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Minority Health and Research
Office of Minority Health and Research
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH

Mr. Levon O. Parker
Minority and Special Concerns Program Director,
Summer Programs in Neurological Sciences
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH

Ms. Donna Sullivan
Program Analyst
Office of Minority Health and Research
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH

Alan L. Willard, Ph.D.
Acting Deputy Director, DER
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH

Contact Person:
Gayathri Jeyarasasingam, Ph.D.
Program Director
Office of Minority Health and Research
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH

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Last updated April 12, 2011