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Dr. Vishwanatha receives Presidential Award for Mentoring Work
Regents Professor Jamboor K. Vishwanatha, PhD, is one of three educators in the state and 15 nationwide who have been named recipients of Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.
Dr. Vishwanatha serves as a mentor to students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty who have trained in his laboratory. He also promotes opportunities for under-represented students and faculty.

Dr. Vishwanatha, Vice President and Principal Investigator for the National Research Mentoring Network and Director of the Texas Center for Health Disparities, received the award in a Washington, D.C. ceremony.

"The Presidential Award is a great honor, especially to be recognized among such excellent educators and mentors", Dr. Vishwanatha said.“I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to make a difference in the lives of many individuals,” he said. “It is gratifying to see them as successful citizens contributing to the scientific advancement in our country. The award is a recognition of the important role of mentoring in developing and diversifying our national science workforce.”

Recipients received a certificate signed by President Donald Trump and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

“This is an outstanding accomplishment by Dr. Vishwanatha, and I’m so pleased he is being recognized at the highest level for his leadership and commitment to the development of STEM.” Charles Taylor, PharmD, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs praised Dr. Vishwanatha.

The faculty, staff, and students of The Center for Diversity & International Programs held a surprise celebration for Dr. Vishwanatha's achievement.
Recent Funding and Notice of Awards
Congratulations to Dr. Harlan Jones, Director, Center For Diversity and International Programs (CDIP) and Associate Professor, Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics who received multiple awards this year.  

University of Texas at El Paso funded Dr. Jones to Direct their NIH JUMPSTART@UTEP Grantwriting and Coaching Program. This award supports the grant development of early-stage faculty and post-docs at UTEP as part of their NIH-funded BUILD Award funded through NIGMS.

Xavier University of Louisiana State University funded Dr. Jones to Direct their STAR@Xavier University Grantwriting and Coaching Program. This award supports the grant development of early-stage faculty and post-docs at Xavier University as part of their NIH-funded BUILD Award funded through NIGMS.

Dr. Jones is Co-investigator of the University of UTAH's Enhanced Grant Writing Coaching Intervention for a Diverse Biomedical Workforce. This award supports the grant development of early-stage faculty and post-docs at Univ. of UTAH as part of their NIH-funded U01 Award funded through NIGMS.

Congratulations Dr. Jones!
TESSA program receives new $1 million funding to expand domestic violence support services

This new funding is continuation funding that extends the TESSA project for two more years. Funding is through the Office of the Governor, Criminal Justice Division, and is specifically for programs that serve victims of crime. TESSA provides health advocacy services to victims of interpersonal violence at both clinic and local nonprofits. These services include healthcare navigation and linkage, wellness coaching, self-care and stress management strategies, and safety planning.
Dr. Emily Spence is the principal investigator on this project. Special recognition goes to all those who helped achieve the program’s latest grant funding, including Co-Investigators Erika Thompson, PhD, Jessica Grace, LMSW, from the UNTHSC School of Public Health, Manza Agovi, PhD, and MaryAnn Contreras, RN, from JPS Health Network.

Congratulations Dr. Spence!
Improving intent to utilize the HPV Vaccine among Young Adults in a Primary Care Setting: Comparing healthcare provider levels and education styles
Shane Fernando, Ph.D., M.S., F.R.S.P.H., Research Director of the Pediatric Mobile Clinic received a $5,260 award from the Texas Academy of Family Practitioners Foundation for the next year. 
Exosomal proteins as markers of racial disparity in breast cancer
Umesh Sankpal, Research Assistant Professor in Pediatrics received a nine month $20,000 award through the TCOM New Investigators Research Program exploring Exosomal proteins as markers of racial disparity in breast cancer

Y eremyah Phillips (SMART) - Hardin-Simmons University, Cayla Moore (SMART) - Langston University, Chloe Smith (SMART) - Old Dominion University, Caroline Carter (SMART) - University of Texas at Arlington, Alex Vinson (DURA-M) - University of Mississippi
Students who participated in multiple Undergraduate Summer Programs through CDIP participated in The Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students Conference ( ABRCMS) in Anaheim, CA in November. ABRCMS is one of the largest communities of underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. More than 2,500 students attend ABCMS to present their research, enhance professional development skills, explore graduate schools, and network.

For more information on all of the Programs Offered through CDIP please visit our website here .
Apply to the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Program
The project has three main objectives:
  • Enhance the pool of underrepresented students that complete a Ph.D. and continue in biomedical research careers.
  • To ensure that at least 80% of Ph.D. students will complete the Ph.D. degree
  • Contribute to ongoing student and faculty efforts to reduce the gap in the completion of Ph.D. degrees between underrepresented students and those from other backgrounds in participating departments.
New scholars will be chosen in January 2020 for the grant year start date of February 1, 2020.
NRMN Recap at National Conferences
The overall theme for the conference is “Community Approaches to Health Equity”. Health equity is achieved when every person has an opportunity to reach their full potential and no one is disadvantaged because of social circumstances or health disparities. Racial/ethnic minority populations, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations and rural populations continue to share disproportionate burden of diseases and adverse health conditions. Because disparities in health outcomes persist among these groups, action must be taken to understand how communities are engaged in identifying and addressing social determinants of health and improve conditions through changes at the local, state, and national level. This conference will provide evidence-based approaches to assess and respond to public health needs, develop a qualified workforce and data-driven models of successful implementation.
This conference will feature nationally recognized speakers, community leaders, and interactive debates highlighting the advances in the field of minority health and health disparities, and progress on eliminating health disparities. Educational and interactive presentations, panel discussions and question/answer sessions will identify the challenges and assist attendees in defining and developing a prospectus for the future. The conference will also highlight the ongoing research programs and efforts including community engagement programs that are aimed to understand the underlying causes of such disparities and devising innovative strategies to ultimately eliminate them.

Registration coming soon!
Supported by 5U54MD006882-07