Biomedical Sciences Diversity Programs

diversity day group photo of students

Short-Term Education Program for underrepresented Persons (Step-Up), NIDDK

The High School STEP-UP Program runs from Mid-June to Mid-August for approximately 8 weeks. High school students will enjoy a full-time 8 week research experience with an experienced scientific investigator at an institution near their home. The High school program culminates at the end of the summer with the STEP-UP High School Scientific Session and Summer Research Presentations held on the world renowned campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. All travel expenses will be provided for a 5 night trip to NIH for STEP-UP high school students to present their research. Students will present their research to an audience of their peers, mentors, and scientific experts, in addition to enjoying other exciting events such as touring NIH and the Nation’s Capitol.

For more information contact: Ms. Kae Pusic, Program Coordinator, email:

Master in Clinical Research Program

Clinical Research Education and Career Development (CRECD) Award, NCRR Research Centers in Minority Institutions

Consistent with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) emphasis on the reduction and elimination of health disparities, we have established a curriculum to support a concentration in Clinical Research under the umbrella of the Master of Science in Biomedical Science at UH’s John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).

The curriculum will provide high quality training for doctoral and postdoctoral candidates in order to increase the critical mass of clinical researchers, including minority investigators, at UH. In addition to offering knowledge and skills needed to pursue careers in clinical research, the MS in biomedical science will function as a supportive mechanism for newly trained investigators, actively facilitating career development and encouraging research collaborations, particularly those related to health disparities

COBRE (Center of Biomedical Research Excellence), NCRR Institutional Development Award Programs

Pacific Center for Emerging Infectious Disease Research

The Mission of the Pacific Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Research is to serve as a center of excellence for research and training in infectious diseases and as a regional reference center for the diagnosis and control of new, emerging and re-emerging microbial threats, which are relevant to the peoples of the Asia-Pacific region.

  • The Specific Aims of the Pacific Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Research for this grant period are to:
    • Build institutional capacity by mentoring a cadre of promising young faculty to conduct research on infectious diseases of medical importance to the Asia-Pacific region.
    • Improve research competitiveness by enhancing the capacity for mentoring and expanding the capability of the technical support infrastructure through centralization of laboratory space and research-support operations.
    • Diversify the research breadth and transdisciplinary scope of the Center through the development of international field sites, targeted recruitment and retention of funded faculty with complementary expertise.

For more information contact: Cori Watanabe, Center Coordinator, email:

Center for Cardiovascular Research

The overall goal of this COBRE initiative was to develop a Center for Cardiovascular Research at the University of Hawaiʻi (UH). The biology and particularly the pathobiology of the cardiovascular system has been an emerging research theme at UH. The NIH-funded principal investigators directing these research efforts have established a track record of collaboration and an effective mentoring program for promising young faculty. With funds from this center proposal, these nationally recognized investigators, with expertise in molecular and cell biology, biochemistry and genetics, would have the opportunity, under the direction of the Principal Investigator, to expand upon and enhance their current research and mentoring capabilities.

  • These goals would be achieved through three primary specific aims:
    • The development of a strong mentoring group of established investigators, with interdisciplinary but complementary backgrounds in vascular and cardiovascular biology, to support the career growth of a selected group of promising young investigators.
    • The development of a strategic plan to assist in the recruitment and retention of talented and funded young faculty and established investigators in faculty positions at UH in order to promote the continued growth of a cardiovascular research program into a major research discipline at UH with stable funding opportunities to not only parallel but to eventually replace COBRE funding.

For more information contact: Ralph Shohet, Principal Investigator, email:

Institute for Biogenesis Research LINK: Institute for Biogenesis Research

INBRE (IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence), NCRR Institutional Development Award Program

IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence website

The Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN) was established when the NIH Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded almost $6 million to the University of Hawaii (UH) over a three-year period (Sept. 30, 2001 to Jun. 30, 2004). The primary mission of BRIN was to increase the competitive ability of the state in the field of biomedical research. In order to achieve this goal, the resources and talents of the smaller academic institutions, as well as other biomedical research organizations of the state, were organized in a network to increase the active research base.

Building upon the network foundation established by BRIN, IDeA Networks for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) proposes to expand and to develop Hawaiʻi’s competitive biomedical research capacity. The expansion will center on three thematic projects exploring the cellular basis of immunological and neurological diseases from the perspective of immunology, cell biology, and developmental biology. Each project will be led by a well-established senior investigator who will mentor junior investigators at both the lead and the affiliated baccalaureate institutions. This will extend into the state’s community colleges where participating faculty will collaborate with established researchers at the lead institution. Each investigator, senior, junior, and Outreach will recruit and mentor undergraduate and graduate students as well. The development will concentrate on not only individual research careers but also the network’s overall approach to competitive research. This involves the establishment of rigorous standards and performance expectations coupled with attentive mentoring to assist network investigators and students in meeting these challenging criteria.

INBRE summer research fellowships are designed to give undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue directed research projects under the mentorship of an established investigator during an eight-week period. Although INBRE supports a broad range of activities, preference will be given to applications which constitute a novel training or educational experience for the student, which result in an enhanced ability to pursue defined research goals, or which facilitate career progression in a research-related field. The program also focuses on applications that will directly or indirectly benefit the biomedical research infrastructure and human resources in this field in the state of Hawaiʻi. Students applying to the program should consider the fellowships not as a supplement to existing research support but should view this as an opportunity to broaden their horizons by learning new approaches and research techniques. Students usually chose a laboratory according to their interests and discuss possible projects with the potential faculty mentor prior to applying to the program. Applicants are encouraged to survey UH life sciences faculty and program websites for matching research interests, or contact the INBRE outreach director for advice. Past students in the program came from a variety of undergraduate institutions both in Hawaii and from the mainland.

For more information contact: Kelly Withy, Project Coordinator,