ToxMSDT: An Innovative Toxicology Pathway Mentoring Program Targeting Underrepresented STEM Students

One of the shortcomings of recruiting students into Toxicology graduate research programs is that there are only a handful of undergraduate toxicology training programs in the whole country. Toxicology is overwhelmingly taught at the graduate, but not at the undergraduate level. Because of this, there is a lack of awareness and knowledge about the discipline and its role in the protection of human health and of the environment among undergraduates. Therefore, undergraduates with an interest in pursuing graduate education naturally may not consider toxicology as an option.

This project is a collaboration between the University of California, Davis, the Society of Toxicology, Iowa State University and Tuskegee University, and seeks to expand the ToxMSDT proof-of-concept project into a nation-wide 5-year training program. There are two specific aims:  (1) Delivery of a mentoring program to underrepresented undergraduate students enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); and (2) Design, development, and delivery of free online learning experiences for skills development consisting of toxicology case studies and designed to stimulate critical thinking and problem-solving.

Sponsor: National Institutes of Health, Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training

Principal Investigator: Dr. Ana-Paula Correia

Award Total: $275,342