Improving citizens' health represents a major need for South Carolina. The State ranks among the nation's highest in stroke deaths, cardiovascular disease deaths, and cancer rates. In recognition of these major human health concerns and as South Carolina's second largest predominantly undergraduate institution (PUI); Winthrop University, under its INBRE I grant awarded in July 2005, began to establish a nationally distinctive undergraduate biomedical research program.
INBRE I Outcomes at Winthrop
INBRE I radically transformed undergraduate biomedical science research at Winthrop as well as the entire research culture on campus. Historically, Winthrop has had limited success gaining federal research funds; During the entire decade prior to INBRE/BRIN, less than $10,000 in NSF or NIH research funds were awarded to science faculty. During the 2005-2010 INBRE I grant period, Winthrop INBRE faculty were awarded nearly $1.5 million in extramural non-INBRE funding. These grants included Winthrop's first-ever award of an NIH-AREA grant (Sumter PI), Winthrop's first-ever award of a major NSF-RUI grant (Lammi PI), Winthrop's first-ever award of an NSF-MRI grant (Hurlbert PI), and Winthrop's second-ever award of an NIH-AREA grant (Evans-Anderson PI). All of these grants had INBRE faculty as Principal Investigators. Coupled with these successes were significant Winthrop investments in research equipment and facility infrastructure, dramatically expanded student involvement in biomedical research, creation of Winthrop's Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE), and Winthrop student matriculation into PhD programs at unprecedented rates.
INBRE II Strategic Approach at Winthrop
Building on INBRE I successes, Winthrop is focusing on three new strategic initiatives during 2010-2015:
- Demonstrate INBRE I sustainability at Winthrop University by internally supporting five biomedical research projects led by former INBRE target faculty.
- Further expand biomedical research capacity by adding five target faculty-led research projects.
- Staff and implement a science diversity initiative to recruit, educate, and train even greater numbers of students from underrepresented and disadvantaged groups for biomedical graduate research programs.
Faculty-Led Biomedical Science Research Projects at Winthrop
Student, faculty and biomedical infrastructure development is being achieved through a critical mass of ten biomedical science research projects. The five target faculty are supported primarily through NIH funding and matching Winthrop support; the five internally supported faculty are supported primarily through Winthrop funding and extramural grants they have been individually awarded.
|Five NIH INBRE-Funded Target Faculty
Winthrop-Funded Internal Faculty
|Dr. Eric C.
||Dr. Heather Evans-Anderson, Biology,
NIH -AREA PI
E. Grossoehme, Biochemistry
||Dr. Laura N. Glasscock, Biology,
|Dr. James M.
Hanna II, Chemistry
||Dr. T. Christian Grattan, Chemistry
|Dr. Jason C.
||Dr. Robin K. Lammi, Chemistry,
P.S. Smith III, Biology
||Dr. Takita F. Sumter, Biochemistry,
NIH -AREA PI
Eagle STEM Scholars Program at Winthrop
Since its founding in 1886, Winthrop University's central role in South Carolina has been to provide college educational opportunities for students from diverse and disadvantaged groups. Winthrop University's approved mission statement states that "Winthrop prides itself on being an institution of choice for groups traditionally under-represented on the college campus."
In keeping with compelling student needs and with INBRE I successes, President Anthony J. DiGiorgio approved the INBRE II Winthrop Eagle STEM Scholars Program
to increase the number of students from underrepresented and disadvantaged groups who directly matriculate into biomedical science PhD programs immediately after graduation.
During the 2011-2015 period, Winthrop will establish the Winthrop Eagle STEM Scholars Program by emulating two decades of proven practices from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County's (UMBC) Meyerhoff Scholars Program. This initiative couples Winthrop's historic tradition of providing educational opportunities to groups underrepresented on college campuses with its central drive for national excellence in undergraduate education via student engagement in research.
The Winthrop Eagle STEM Scholars Program is a student-centered, four-phase approach involving:
- Recruitment of greater numbers of motivated and well-prepared high school science students
- Facilitated transition of students through the first two years of college
- Student long-term engagement (two academic years and two summers) in undergraduate research
- Facilitated transition of students to graduate school.