Campus: CSU San Marcos -- August 30, 2002

Federal Grant Links Campuses to Guide Students into Research Careers

A consortium of three North San Diego County campuses has been awarded approximately $600,000 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health. The grant funds the "North San Diego County Bridges to the Future Program," which will prepare students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups for professional research careers in the biomedical sciences.

According to Dr. Richard Bray, Associate Director of the project, "The program will help students achieve academic success at the community colleges in preparation for a seamless transition to California State University San Marcos. At Cal State San Marcos the students will be integrated into one of several science programs that prepare students for Ph.D. or other professional programs in biomedical sciences."

The three-year program will be headquartered at the Cal State San Marcos Office of Biomedical Research and Training (OBRT). Most of the funding, however, will go to the community college partners, MiraCosta College and Palomar College.

"We were pleased to hear that this project is being funded," said Dr. Sherrill L. Amador, President of Palomar College. "It should increase the number of underrepresented students going into biomedical research fields and it will help them progress smoothly through science, mathematics and other courses here at Palomar College. It will also help them prepare for advanced training and successful careers in the scientific community."

Dr. Tim T. L. Dong, President of MiraCosta College added, "We have to do all we can so underrepresented students will go into the sciences. The Bridges to the Future Grant will encourage MiraCosta College students to go into the biomedical fields knowing that they will have a path through Cal State San Marcos, and onto doctoral programs."

The Bridges to the Future proposal development was supported by the Cal State San Marcos Foundation which provided seed funding for a group of faculty from MiraCosta, Palomar, and Cal State San Marcos to write the grant proposal. In addition, the North County Higher Education Alliance (NCHEA) supported the project with an $18,000 supplemental award to the federal grant.

"The Bridges program is an excellent example of how students can benefit when higher education institutions work together," said Cal State San Marcos President Dr. Alexander Gonzalez. "We're pleased to be able to create a pipeline that will increase the number of students from underrepresented groups in the sciences as well as to provide an enhanced opportunity for students from the Northern San Diego region."

For additional details, contact Professor Victor Rocha, Director of the Cal State San Marcos Office for Biomedical Research and Training, 760-750-4084 or

The contact person at Palomar College is Life Sciences Professor Dan Sourbeer, (760) 744-1150, ext. 2775. At MiraCosta College, the contact is Professor Gail Baughman, director of the campus biotechnology program, (760) 757-2121, ext. 6496.

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