By BILL BRUTON
Published November 4, 2022
Peter L. Elkin, UB Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, has been awarded an R25 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Library of Medicine (NLM) to train underrepresented minorities in biomedical informatics and data science.
“The grant focuses on the recruitment of underrepresented in medicine (URM) individuals who are either undergraduates or master’s students, and the idea is to create a pipeline for our PhD programs and for our medical schools and clinical informatics programs so we can get more URM individuals into these programs,” Elkin says. “As we move our recruitment to earlier in an individual’s education, we hope to get the field to look more like our medical school population and more like our community than it does today.
“It shows the NIH’s understanding of our commitment to diversity and inclusion. It was a highly competitive environment to get this award,” he adds. “This complements our T15 training grant, which we also have from the NLM to train PhD students and postdoctoral fellows in biomedical informatics and data science.”
The Jacobs School is one of just 12 sites from around the U.S. to receive the grant.
“This is a feather in the cap for the Jacobs School. It’s $133,000 a year for a five-year period,” Elkin says. “The nice thing about these training grants is it shows that people across the country think highly of our educational programs.”
Twelve students — six from Western New York and six from outside the area — will be able to take advantage of the grants each year.
“We’re planning presentations about this opportunity to historically Black colleges to try and enhance recruitment from these schools within the next few months, and we’re open for applications to enroll for next summer,” Elkin says.
People interested in applying can contact Annie Hayes-Montesano, clinical informatics fellowship training program administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ram Samudrala, professor of biomedical informatics and chief of the Division of Bioinformatics, is co-principal investigator on the grant.