Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Biomedical Conference Inspires Minority Students to Pursue Research Opportunities, Careers

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Biomedical Conference Inspires Minority Students to Pursue Research Opportunities, Careers

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON

Second-year doctoral student Quiona Stephens is serious about her research on hypertension.

"Hypertension is colorblind, but African Americans respond to it differently," says the Ohio State University student who presented her first-stage research findings on Black males' response to aerobic exercise in warding off hypertension at last year's Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). Stephens was one of 750 minority student-presenters in attendance.

Sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and managed by the American Society of Microbiology, conference organizers are expecting approximately 1,700 student-researchers to attend this year's conference held Nov. 13-16 in New Orleans.

Stephens says the conference inspired her to delve deeper into her research and to publish her findings. For many minority students like Stephens who are involved in science and research, the motivation to pursue research on health disparities stems from a desire to do something about the diseases affecting their communities.

"If I don't do the research on my community, who will?" Stephens says.

According to national data, there is a dearth of African Americans and Hispanics in the sciences--the very populations that are disproportionately affected by conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. Understandably, these are the people that can help bridge the gap and manage the crisis, says Dr. John Ruffin, head of NIH's year-old National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities in Washington. …

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