N.C. A&T CoST Awarded $1.3 million from NIH for Biomedical Graduate Training

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 4, 2018) -- North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s College of Science and Technology (CoST) has been selected for the Bridges to the Doctorate research training award of $1.3 million over a five-year period.

The award from the National Institute of Health allows for a partnership between CoST’s master’s programs in computational biology and computational science and engineering and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s doctorate programs in the same fields.

N.C. A&T is the only historically black college or university selected for the award.

The Bridges to the Doctorate program is designed to help students make the transition from master’s degree programs to doctorate programs. The award will expand the pool of underrepresented students who remain in the bioinformatics and biomedical sciences through the doctorate level and increase the number of students who go into research careers, said Patrick Martin, assistant dean of CoST and principal investigator for the program at A&T.

 “This program helps us make graduate students more competitive to enter top tier doctoral programs in the country,” Martin said. “Jobs in these fields are in high demand in industries like Google, IBM and health and insurance providers.”

Bridges to the Doctorate allows CoST to select three students each year for the program. Once designated, the three students are paired with mentors at A&T and UNC.

Along with mentors, special curriculum will be designed for students in the Bridge to the Doctorate program with cross-training in biomedical and computational sciences and engineering. They also will have the opportunities for professional development to take courses at UNC during their master’s program.

Dukka Kc, Ph.D., is a co-PI in addition to UNC’s Michael Jarstfer, Ph.D. Other participating institutions include University of California-Los Angeles, University of Kentucky, University of Illinois at Chicago and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.