Oviatt Library at California State University, Northridge. Photo by Cbl62 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons
Oviatt Library at California State University, Northridge. Photo by Cbl62 [CC-BY-SA-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

The National Institutes of Health awarded Cal State Northridge nearly $22 million over five years to help mentor and train minority students for careers in biomedical research, it was announced Wednesday.

The grant — the largest single grant the school ever received — will fund Build at CSUN, a program that aims to inspire students and address racial disparities in biomedicine.

“As one of the largest and most diverse universities in the country, with a strong record of success with students from all backgrounds, CSUN is well positioned to address” the lack of minorities in biomedicine, CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison said.

CSUN was one of the first institutions in the nation to establish ethnic studies, including Latino, African and Central American studies. Faculty members in those programs helped lay the foundation for the development of the grant application.

NIH announced a dozen awards to more than 50 institutions across the country as part of an initiative to develop new approaches that engage researchers, including people from nonwhite backgrounds.

“The biomedical research enterprise must engage all sectors of the population in order to solve the most complex biological problems and discover innovative new ways to improve human health,” NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins said. “While past efforts to diversify our workforce have had significant impact on individuals, we have not made substantial progress in expanding diversity on a larger scale. This program will test new models of training and mentoring so that we can ultimately attract the best minds from all groups to biomedical research.”

Staff & Wire Reports

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