Eligibility and Application for CURIOUS Program
The overarching goal of this R25 program is to enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce by providing research experiences and related opportunities to undergraduate and health professional students from nationally underrepresented backgrounds as defined in Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity, NOT-OD-20-031. Only US citizens/permanent residents can participate in the program.
Eligible participants include:
- The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
- Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
- Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as those who meet two or more of the following criteria:
i. Were or currently are homeless, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Definition: https://nche.ed.gov/mckinney-vento/);
ii. Were or currently are in the foster care system, as defined by the Administration for Children and Families
iii. Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years
iv. Have/had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor’s degree (see https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2018/2018009.pdf);
v. Were or currently are eligible for Federal Pell grants (Definition: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/fpg/eligibility.html);
vi. Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as a parent or child
vii. Grew up in one of the following areas:
a) a U.S. rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer
b) a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated Low-Income and Health Professional Shortage Areas
(qualifying zipcodes are included in the file).
Only one of the two possibilities in #7 can be used as a criterion for the disadvantaged background definition.
To apply, applicants should complete the application form.
Attachments required are:
- Unofficial Transcript
- 3-5 sentences describing prior research experience, if any (previous research experience is NOT required in order to apply).
- Personnel statement (no more than 500 words) should include:
- why you want to participate in the CURIOUS program
- what experiments/techniques in your college courses/labs have stimulated your interest in research
- career goals
- Applicants should pick 3 faculty members whose research interests align with theirs and with whom they would like to work. There are links to participating faculty members below.
- Recommendation letters: In the application form, applicants will be asked to name 2-4 referees; however references will only be requested for top selected candidates.
(click on the mentor's name to view their profile and link to their lab)
Karen Stokes, PhD - (Principle Investigator and mentor)
The Stokes lab focuses on the intersection between inflammation and thrombosis in stroke (under diabetic conditions and in sickle cell disease), and on the role for redox regulation in vascular changes in Alzheimer's Disease.
J. Steven Alexander, PhD - (Co-Investigator and mentor)
The Alexander lab focuses on the brain and its blood supply and how changes in this contribute to Alzheimer's disease and stroke pathophysiology. We also believe this is involved in obstructive sleep apnea pathology. We are working on 3D bioprinting and have patents related to transplantation biology.
Sumitra Miriyala, PhD - (Co-Investigator and mentor)
Dr. Miriyala’s research involves evaluating prenatal genetic abnormalities of antioxidant enzymes, the mechanisms regulating gene expression. Her lab focus is to delineate the role of mitochondrial retrograde signaling with reference to oxidative modification of proteins in cerebral microcirculation.
Matthew Woolard, PhD - (Co-Investigator and mentor)
The Woolard lab is focused on understanding the contribution of immune system to atherosclerotic progression, the number one cause of catastrophic cardiovascular disease. Specifically we are determining how lipid metabolisms within macrophages contributes to both promotion of atherosclerotic plaque growth and plaque regression. Understanding the intersection of immunometabolic responses and atherosclerosis will identify new therapeutic targets to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease.
Md Shenuarin Bhuiyan, PhD
The Bhuiyan lab focus is to examine the role of autophagy in cardiac pathophysiology using integrated molecular, genetic, and functional approaches in genetically modified mice. My laboratory extensively uses cardiac-specific transgenic and knockout mouse models of heart failure including ischemia/reperfusion injury-, transverse aortic constriction- and genetic models (desmin related cardiomyopathy) of heart failure.
Diana Cruz Topete, PhD
The Cruz-Topete lab focuses on long-term and sex-specific effects of acute and chronic stress on pathological cardiac gene expression and function in aging, and effects of ionizing radiation on thermoregulation in Space.
Elizabeth Disbrow, PhD
The Disbrow lab studies Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease, specializing in neuropsychological and motor testing, and functional brain imaging
Norman Harris, PhD
The Harris lab focuses on the microcirculation, and in recent years, much of our work has been an investigation of microvascular complications in the retina. Techniques that we use in the laboratory include intravital microscopy, measurement of microvascular flow, computerized video analysis of microscope images, immunostaining of tissue sections, culturing of retinal microvascular endothelial cells, and various molecular biology techniques.
Chris Kevil, PhD
The Kevil lab focuses on hydrogen sulfide and its enzymes in the regulation of vascular remodeling, inflammation in diabetes and autophagy.
A. Wayne Orr, PhD
The Orr lab studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms that drive the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, the most common cause of heart attacks and strokes and the leading cause of death worldwide. Using vascular cell culture, mouse models, and patient samples, our work identifies novel pathways contributing the buildup of lipids, inflammatory cells, and fibrous tissue in the vessel wall with the ultimate goal of reducing clinical complications of atherosclerosis.
Changwon Park, PhD
The Park lab long-term goal is to understand the detailed mechanisms of vascular diseases including cardiovascular disease, neurovascular disease, and tumor immunity with a special emphasis on transcriptional regulation and epigenetics. We are also interested in direct cell reprogramming to generate autologous endothelial cells for cell therapy. Further, we are studying novel therapeutic options for vascular disease treatment.
Chris Pattillo, PhD
The Pattillo lab focuses on the role that reactive oxygen species and antioxidants play on vascular remodeling. Two remodeling events we study are shear induced arteriogenesis and atherosclerosis.
Krista Rodgers, PhD
The Rodgers lab research focuses on the endogenous regeneration of brain cells following stroke, and how these new brain cells contribute to enhanced post-stroke outcomes (i.e., improved motor recovery, reduced limb neglect, improved neuroplasticity/EEG). We have found a role for neuroimmune support in the survival and maturation of new brain cells in young mice compared to adult, and are investigating these age-related differences in immune functioning following stroke.