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. (Check back for access to 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 and how will the program help you achieve your career goals
• what experiments/techniques in your college courses/labs have stimulated your interest in research
- Applicants should pick 4 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 academic and/or professional referees who can speak to your interest in, and suitability for, the program; applicants should ask referees to submit their letters to: Dr. Karen Stokes via email: Karen.Stokes@lsuhs.edu. Letters are due the same day as the applications.
(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.
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.
Mabruka Alfaidi, MD, PhD
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is a leading cause of disease death worldwide. Despite our technical advances, finding a cure is still challenging. In our research group we explore the intra-molecular pathways in individual cellular responses using translational tools from patients with or without CAD to small and large animal-based approaches.
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.
Nirav Dhanesha, PhD
The Dhanesha lab applies a multidisciplinary approach in stroke and thrombosis research, combining data from human samples, in vitro assay and preclinical models of stroke, venous and arterial thrombosis. Current focus of the lab includes understanding of the mechanistic role of neutrophil integrin alpha9beta1 in the pathogenesis of venous thrombosis in the setting of stroke and obesity.
Elizabeth Disbrow, PhD
The Disbrow lab studies Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease, specializing in neuropsychological and motor testing, and functional brain imaging
Chris Kevil, PhD
The Kevil lab focuses on hydrogen sulfide and its enzymes in the regulation of vascular remodeling, inflammation in diabetes and autophagy.
Gopi Kolluru, PhD
The Kolluru lab focuses on identifying the molecular signaling mechanisms involved in oxidative stress, and vascular growth and remodeling during aging cardiovascular pathology. Additionally, the lab is working on cell specific CSE and H2S role in cerebral blood flow and how changes in CSE/H2S bioavailability in brain contributes to cerebrovascular function and cognitive impairment.
Tarek Magdy, PhD
The Magdy laboratory is trying to understand the role of the genome in patient-specific drug response and cardiovascular disease predisposition. We are particularly interested in the pharmacogenomics of chemotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity and congenital heart diseases using human-induced pluripotent stem cells-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). To do this, we adopt state-of-the-art techniques, including somatic cell reprogramming into human induced pluripotent stem cells, multi-lineage iPSC differentiation, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated functional genomics methods, multi-omics approaches, and bioinformatics, combined with various quantitative and qualitative in vitro studies.
Kevin Murnane, PhD
The Murnane Lab conducts translational research into the etiology, pathophysiology, behavioral pharmacology, neurobiology, and treatment of addictive disorders. Studies are conducted in cellular models, animal models, and human patients. We study the impact of stimulants such as methamphetamine and opioids such as fentanyl on the cardiovascular system, including the blood brain barrier, and relate these cardiovascular changes to increased vulnerability to addiction. We are examining the use of cannabinoids, psychedelics, and neuropeptides to mitigate and reverse these drug-induced cardiovascular changes.
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
Research in the Rodgers lab 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.
Hong Sun, MD, PhD
Alcohol is one of humans' most commonly and regularly used chemical substances. The brain is a major target organ of alcohol actions. My research has focused on how alcohol alters cerebral microcirculation and ischemic stroke since 1999. The results of my study not only improve clinical management for ischemic stroke in alcohol users but also lead to new approaches for preventing and treating ischemic stroke and other neurodegenerative diseases in non-drinkers.