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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, June 21, 2024


May 31, 2001 – The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of the Virgin Islands two multi-year grants that together are worth more than $3 million.
One is a four-year grant of $1,748,587 from the new Minority Biomedical Support program known as Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement, or RISE.
The other is a five-year grant of $1,287,970 from the Minority Access to Research Careers, or MARC, program.
Both grants support University initiatives to provide increased biomedical research training at UVI, according to a release. Funding in both cases is effective June 1. Both the RISE and MARC programs at UVI are under the direction of marine biology and mathematics professor Teresa Turner.
At UVI, the RISE program is focused on strengthening student research opportunities, developing collaborations between faculty and researchers elsewhere, establishing a molecular biology laboratory, and developing an inquiry-based chemistry curriculum. The program is open to undergraduate Science and Mathematics Division and psychology majors, with research and teaching faculty on the St. Thomas and St. Croix campuses to mentor participants. This is the first time students and faculty on the St. Croix campus will be involved in an NIH-funded initiative, according to the release.
UVI's expanded MARC program will support biomedical research training for students in the fields of computer science, psychology, mathematics, chemistry, marine biology and biology in greater numbers than before. Talented juniors and seniors will have their tuition paid and will receive a monthly stipend. The program also provides participating students an opportunity to present their research findings at national scientific meetings and to do summer research at national laboratories.
Freshmen and sophomores will be able to participate for the first time in MARC-funded enrichment seminars, tutoring and peer mentoring — activities designed to increase the pool of qualified juniors and seniors for the MARC honors program. The lower division program will be coordinated on St. Croix by Velma Tyson, mathematics professor, and on St. Thomas by Ralph Isovitsch, chemistry professor.
Gwen-Marie Moolenaar, UVI vice president for institutional advancement, wrote the university's first MARC grant proposal and directed the program from 1992 until 2000, producing what the release described as "one of the most successful programs in the nation." Isovitsch and Lynn Rosenthal, computer science professor, are among the faculty members who have guided it since then.
MARC trainees at UVI have gone on to top doctoral programs at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Michigan, Howard University, Indiana University, Louisiana State University, the University of Maryland, Rochester University, Purdue University, the University of South Florida, Rutgers University, the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and the University of California at Davis and at San Diego.
The RISE and MARC programs enhance other grant-funded programs at UVI such as the National Science Foundation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program, the Health Careers Opportunities Program, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Scholars Program.
Students may obtain more information about these programs by calling 693-1232.

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