Friday, December 8, 2023

UTSA/NIH program diversifies pipeline of future biomedical researchers

UTSA/NIH program diversifies pipeline of future biomedical researchers

ESTEEMED trainees from the 2019–2020 cohort during their five-week summer boot camp.

Oct. 10, 2019 — To support student success, UTSA is offering a new program to train the next generation of diverse researchers in the biomedical sciences. 

The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering has awarded UTSA a five-year, nearly $1.3 million grant to create the Enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Educational Diversity (ESTEEMED) Program. 

ESTEEMED is designed to ensure that talented minority or disadvantaged students obtain the experience and skills they need to succeed in doctoral programs and research-intensive careers in the biomedical sciences. 

The participation of underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities in the science and engineering workforce has been a concern of policymakers who are interested in solving emerging challenges in health care. 

UTSA is diversifying the pipeline of scientists and engineers entering the workforce by offering this program to undergraduates from populations underrepresented racially, economically or through disability. 

The majority of UTSA students identify as Hispanic (56%), contributing to a 64% underrepresented minority student population. Nearly 45% of UTSA undergraduates are first-generation students whose parents or guardians have not earned a four-year degree. 

“ESTEEMED is a comprehensive training program that will enable highly talented underrepresented students to pursue their dreams of becoming biomedical researchers,” says Gail P. Taylor, ESTEEMED program director. “The UTSA research environment, which is highly inclusive for undergraduates, is an exceptional training ground for these future researchers. Our first-year trainees have exceeded our expectations, and we are now seeking our second cohort for fall 2020.”  

High-achieving students will be recruited from South Texas high schools and many freshmen will be preadmitted to the UTSA Honors College majoring in biology, microbiology/immunology, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, psychology and biomedical engineering. 

UTSA freshman and sophomore trainees develop their skills as scholars and scientists through faculty and peer mentoring and training in biomedical research laboratories. 

Students are offered a cohesive training program that fulfills these specific aims:

  • Support academic achievement through activities such as prefreshman summertime academic remediation, study skills assessment and training, mentoring and monitoring, study halls and tutoring.
  • Support growth as a scientist and science communicator through progressively intense training and experience in research with oral and written communication of the research findings and development of supply, conference and summer program applications.
  • Instruct trainees about career options and diverse fields through exposure to role model scientists, research institutions and career path education with an emphasis placed on medical informatics/genomics, biomedical imaging and mathematical modeling and simulation.
  • Promote leadership development and address known barriers to doctoral degree attainment in underrepresented populations through direct training in leadership as well as promotion of leadership experiences.

ESTEEMED has seven training positions for high-achieving freshmen in its first year and 14 training positions (seven freshmen, seven sophomores) thereafter over the course of the five-year grant. 

ESTEEMED scholars who develop strong academic and research credentials will be given priority consideration for entry into the junior/senior-level UTSA Maximizing Access to Research Centers program as well as other funded training opportunities at UTSA. 

Trainees in MARC and other student research programs at UTSA have very strong placement records into some of the top biomedical research programs in the country.

Kara Soria

Learn more about the NIH/UTSA ESTEEMED Program.

Celebrate UTSA’s 50th Anniversary and share social media posts about the 50th using the hashtag #UTSA50.

Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.

UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.



University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education .

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to promoting access for all. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.