Duke Hosts NC Symposium Aimed at Increasing Diversity in the Biomedical Sciences

The 4th Annual North Carolina Biosciences Collaborative Symposium took place on July 28 and 29 at Duke University. The two-day event, hosted by the Duke Biosciences Collaborative for Research Engagement Program (BioCoRE), included national expert speakers, workshops, and a poster session highlighting student research.

Speakers at the event discussed a variety of topics, many focusing on strategies to increase the number of underrepresented minority students seeking graduate degrees in the biomedical sciences. George Langford, PhD, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University and Burroughs Wellcome Fund board member, and Mica Estrada, PhD, assistant professor in Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California-San Francisco, delivered the keynote addresses.

More than 215 students, faculty members and administrators representing more institutions attended the event.

“The goal is to provide an opportunity for trainees, mentors and administrators from institutions across North Carolina and the nation to come together and learn about the latest research and advances in diversity and higher education,” said Sherilynn Black, PhD, director of the Office of Biomedical Graduate Diversity in the Duke University School of Medicine and co-principal investigator of the Duke BioCoRE program.

BioCoRE is an institution-wide program, created at Duke in 2013 with $1.8 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health.  The program is committed to increasing diversity within the Duke biosciences community, which includes students and faculty members in the School of Medicine, Graduate School, Trinity College, Pratt School of Engineering, and throughout Duke, using a variety of initiatives, including community-building activities, paid research opportunities, and symposia and seminars.