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"The HHMI teaching grant builds on the success of UMBC's HHMI Scholars Program and advances the program's tradition of linking undergraduates with some of the nation's leading biomedical researchers.”

President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III


HHMI Scholars Program Receives $2.2 Million Teaching Grant


July 19, 2006 - A $2.2 million teaching grant to UMBC from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) will support the HHMI Scholars Program, a science education initiative that focuses on students from diverse backgrounds. UMBC is one of 50 universities in the nation to receive an HHMI grant in this latest round of HHMI funding.

HHMI Scholars Program Director Michael Summers is the only HHMI investigator at a Maryland public university.

The HHMI Scholars Program provides a summer "bridge" structure that helps freshmen make a smooth college transition.

During their freshman year, Hughes Scholars rotate through several labs and eventually choose a "home" laboratory in which they will do long-term research. The summer before their sophomore year, they start working in that lab. Scholars also complete at least one summer of research with an HHMI investigator elsewhere in the country, usually before their junior year. Each scholar also has the option of spending his or her junior year as an exchange student in the lab of another HHMI investigator.

Hughes Scholars also provide math and science tutoring for elementary and high school students in Baltimore and might also tutor fellow UMBC undergraduates.

The first UMBC Hughes Scholars supported by an undergraduate science education grant from HHMI graduated from UMBC in 2005. The three students have gone on to Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. programs at Stanford University, The Johns Hopkins University and Case Western Reserve University.

Five additional students recently graduated and all have been accepted into a Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D. or M.D. program at Baylor College of Medicine, University of Florida, University of Maryland, University of Michigan and Cornell University.

Hughes Scholars will interact with students in the UMBC Meyerhoff Scholarship Program, a program open to high-achieving high school seniors with an interest in pursuing doctoral study in the sciences or engineering and advancing minorities in the sciences and related fields.

"With this support, some of the brightest young students who are interested in biomedical research and issues of diversity will have the opportunity to focus on their studies and research while undergraduates work with some of the nation's best biomedical researchers," Summers said.


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