SFSU and UCSF Awarded $17 Million to Increase Diversity in the Biomedical Workforce

Note: Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, MD, PhD, MAS, director of CTSI's Clinical and Translational Science Training (CTST) program and the UCSF Principal Investigator on the grant, notes that a major feature of this grant is training undergraduates, leveraging CTST and specifically the Pre-Health Undergradaute Program (PUP) as well as CTSI infrastructure.  

By Purba Chatterjee

The National Institutes of Health have awarded $17 million to establish the SF BUILD program at San Francisco State University (SFSU) and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) as their research partner to promote training opportunities and career development for minority students and faculty in the biomedical sciences. The 5-year program is funded by the NIH’s Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative which aims to increase diversity within the biomedical research workforce. UCSF has been awarded over $5m for this initiative. This is part of a larger nation-wide strategy and includes a National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) and a Coordination and Evaluation Center (CEC).
SF BUILD will be led by Leticia Márquez-Magaña, Professor of Biology at SFSU.  At UCSF, SF BUILD will be led by Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, Professor of Medicine and of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Director of the Center for Vulnerable Populations and Clinical and Translational Sciences Training. Peter Chin-Hong, Alicia Fernandez, and Robert Hiatt will lead the Student Training, Research Enrichment, and Institutional Development efforts at UCSF, respectively.
“We are excited to work with SFSU on BUILD, a unique partnership that leverages both the affinities and strengths of our two institutions ” said Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology  at UCSF and PI of the UCSF portion of BUILD.
To foster professional development and persistence in the biomedical sciences, fifty undergraduate students from underrepresented and minority backgrounds will participate in an intensive research training program. Students selected for the program from SF State will participate in a summer research rotation focusing on interdisciplinary approaches to the study of health disparities to prepare them for participation in 2-year research projects under the mentorship of faculty at SF State and UCSF.
“BUILD has twin goals of increasing the diversity of the biomedical workforce and increasing capacity for innovative new research.  In pursuing these two goals, BUILD has the potential to transform both of our institutions and more importantly to enhance our ability to improve the health of all communities in San Francisco” said Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo.
SF BUILD will also provide training for faculty on how to promote intellectually supportive environments for underrepresented students and encourage the development of new curricula with a focus on social justice and health equity. In addition, the program will promote professional development opportunities for minority faculty by fostering interdisciplinary collaborations between researchers at SF State and UCSF thereby transforming both institutions.

See the entire story on InsideUCSF

See additional news coverage of SF BUILD at SFGate.com