Minority Access to Research Centers (MARC) Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U*STAR) Program


The Minority Access to Research Centers (MARC) Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U*STAR) Program was created by the National Institutes of Health-National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to increase the number of biomedical and behavioral scientists particularly from underrepresented groups. The MARC program is designed to successfully prepare students for Ph.D. programs in biomedical sciences, which include biology, chemistry, psychology, mathematics, and computer science. Students participate in the MARC U*STAR program during a consecutive 24-month period, typically during the junior and senior years of undergraduate school at participating institutions. Each institution is encouraged to design a program that sets measurable goals and specific objectives against which the program will use for self-assessment and evaluation for continual institutional improvement and funding.

During this time, students are encouraged to participate in various training opportunities, including a summer research experience at a research-intensive institution such as The Lundquist Institute. The Lundquist Institute serves as a potential site for U*STAR students to carry out research projects under the guidance of LA BioMed’s faculty. Since 1999, The Lundquist Institute has played host to a number of students in the MARC U*STAR program, helping to enhance their academic and research development. For more information, please call (310) 974-9596 or e-mail education@lundquist.org.


The Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) program – a Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) program – was designed to enhance the research environment at minority-serving institutions, with an overall goal to increase the interest, skills, and competitiveness of students and faculty in pursuit of careers in biomedical research. RISE participants include faculty and students who have the opportunity to conduct research at various institutions, one of which is The Lundquist Institute. The RISE Program provides flexibility in faculty and student development activities, as well as an opportunity for development of the institution’s research and education capability. In order to evaluate the efficacy of program activities, each institution is required to set its own goals and measurable objectives that are based on self-assessment, and to identify anticipated milestones for achievement.

California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) is one such recipient of a RISE award. At CSUDH, the RISE Program supports the scientific development of 12 undergraduate students, selected from the departments of biology, chemistry, physics and psychology, and is under the leadership of Dr. Laura J. Robles, Dean of Graduate Studies.

In addition to a research experience, students participate in workshops in bioinformatics, writing comprehension skills, psychology careers, GRE preparation, student career development, Latinas Juntas, and a biomedical research seminar series. RISE funds also support an academic year seminar series featuring minority scientists from throughout the country.

For more information, please call (310) 974-9596 or e-mail education@lundquist.org.