Breaking News
September 24, 2018 - King’s commemorates opening of new NMR facility with one-day symposium
September 24, 2018 - Eisai receives approval for partial label change of DC Bead device for transcatheter arterial embolization
September 24, 2018 - High-resolution genomic map gives scientists unprecedented view of brain development
September 24, 2018 - Alexion announces positive results from Phase 3 PREVENT study of Soliris in patients with NMOSD
September 24, 2018 - First evaluation of benefits, harms of Alzheimer’s screening for family members of older adults
September 24, 2018 - Children of mothers using cannabis may start using it at an earlier age, finds study
September 24, 2018 - Most patients who underwent transcatheter valve replacement experience prosthesis-patient mismatch
September 24, 2018 - New study provides basis for Air Canada to change its facial hair policy for aircrew
September 24, 2018 - Infant walkers lead to thousands of emergency visits for babies
September 24, 2018 - Genes predicting person’s height may provide clues about causes of varicose veins
September 24, 2018 - EPA Plan Will Maintain Carbon Emissions From Power Plants
September 24, 2018 - Characterizing pig hippocampus could improve translational neuroscience
September 24, 2018 - Element3 Health reports social and mental engagement play key role in overall health
September 24, 2018 - Paralympic medalists support Fight for Sight’s unique virtual event
September 24, 2018 - ADCETRIS drug receives approval in Japan as frontline treatment option for Hodgkin lymphoma
September 24, 2018 - Public awareness of urological conditions found to be alarmingly low across Europe
September 24, 2018 - Fitter Folks Suffer Milder Strokes: Study
September 24, 2018 - Novel botulinum toxin compound relieves chronic pain
September 24, 2018 - CHMP recommends approval of Gilenya for treatment of multiple sclerosis in children, adolescents
September 24, 2018 - National Friendly’s private medical insurance is a hit with women living in the South East
September 24, 2018 - Academics receive prestigious awards for achievements in blood pressure research
September 24, 2018 - Obese pregnant women can restrict weight gain safely with proper nutrition guidance
September 24, 2018 - CHMP adopts positive opinion of Takeda’s ALUNBRIG for treatment of ALK+ non-small cell lung cancer
September 24, 2018 - China NMPA approves LENVIMA for treatment of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma
September 24, 2018 - A new approach for finding Alzheimer’s treatments
September 24, 2018 - USC research uncovers previously unknown genetic risk factor for dementia
September 24, 2018 - Study examining mental health among students finds significant disparities in treatment across race
September 24, 2018 - Breakthrough discovery paves way for future test to identify drowsy drivers
September 24, 2018 - Transcatheter mitral-valve repair in patients with heart failure
September 24, 2018 - Study opens new avenues for treatment of Laing distal myopathy
September 24, 2018 - Stroke Facts | cdc.gov
September 24, 2018 - Sarcolipin tricks muscle cells into using more energy, burning fat
September 24, 2018 - Enrollment in opioid controlled substance agreement reduces primary care visits
September 24, 2018 - UTA researchers patent new smart seat cushion technology that helps prevent painful ulcers
September 24, 2018 - Second HPV-Related Primary Cancers Common in Survivors
September 24, 2018 - How a virus destabilizes the genome
September 24, 2018 - Old letters provide insight into Spanish flu pandemic horror
September 23, 2018 - Smart textile-based soft robotic exosuit helps wearers save energy and traverse difficult terrain
September 23, 2018 - New research hub to drive radical change in development and manufacturing of vaccines
September 23, 2018 - AHA: For Hispanics, Neighborhood May Be Key Factor in Heart Disease Risk
September 23, 2018 - Excessive airway nerves tied to more severe asthma symptoms, study finds
September 23, 2018 - Study highlights need to remain vigilant in maintaining key infection control processes
September 23, 2018 - Novel therapeutic strategy for blood vessel related disorders, such as cancer and retinopathy
September 23, 2018 - New naturally occurring antibiotic found effective against Mycobacterium tuberculosis
September 23, 2018 - First-in-human phase 0 study shows clinically-relevant activity of new drug in glioblastoma
September 23, 2018 - Removing tobacco product display from shops reduced number of children buying cigarettes
September 23, 2018 - Random fraction of specialized immune cells leads the charge in battling invaders
September 23, 2018 - Few minutes of sprinting exercise may be as effective as longer exercise sessions
September 23, 2018 - Researchers use neutrons to make first direct observations of water in lipid bilayers
September 23, 2018 - Researchers demonstrate pre-clinical success for universal flu vaccine in new paper
September 23, 2018 - Study reveals surprising gaps in some HIV medical providers’ knowledge of ACA
September 23, 2018 - Oxehealth secures European medical device accreditation for vital signs measurement software
September 23, 2018 - HTN Tx Intensification Common Upon Discharge in U.S. Vets
September 23, 2018 - Fibre can strengthen the intestinal barrier
September 23, 2018 - New platform examines infectious pathogens that may spread from animals to humans
September 23, 2018 - Demographers create detailed color map of population aging in Europe
September 23, 2018 - New type of fatty acid can slow down overreactive immune system
September 23, 2018 - Innovative procedure could provide breakthrough in treating early-stage lung cancer
September 23, 2018 - Research finds drop in number of measles cases in the EU/EEA since March 2018
September 23, 2018 - Researchers acquire new insights into DNA polymerases
September 23, 2018 - Alzheimer’s diagnosis might become simpler with new brain imaging method
September 23, 2018 - Reports Warn of Growing Opioid Crisis Among Seniors
September 23, 2018 - Researchers unravel why people with HIV suffer from more neurologic diseases
September 23, 2018 - Human brain structured to make best possible decision with limited resources
September 23, 2018 - KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Health on the hill
September 23, 2018 - Bad air and inadequate data prove an unhealthy mix
September 23, 2018 - Regular bedtime and wake time important for heart, metabolic health even among adults
September 23, 2018 - HIV and a tale of a few cities
September 23, 2018 - NIH launches clinical trial to test infusions of combination antibodies in people with HIV
September 23, 2018 - Researchers develop new system to detect consumption of synthetic cannabinoids
September 23, 2018 - Vax-Hub to influenze radical change in development and manufacturing of vaccines
September 23, 2018 - People who have slept lesser than seven hours have higher risks of car crashes
September 23, 2018 - an ancient art may work best to prevent falls in old age
September 23, 2018 - Consumption of foods with lower nutritional quality related to increased cancer risk
September 23, 2018 - Patient Health Information Often Shared Electronically
September 23, 2018 - Can machine learning bring more humanity to health care?
September 23, 2018 - Body organs undergo structural changes in response to diet
September 23, 2018 - Genetic polymorphisms linked with muscle injury and stiffness
September 23, 2018 - As states try to rein in drug spending, feds slap down one bold Medicaid move
September 22, 2018 - Why Eczema Is Tougher to Treat for Black Patients
Looking to the future of graduate biomedical education

Looking to the future of graduate biomedical education

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

After Kenneth Gibbs, Jr. earned his PhD in immunology from Stanford in 2010, he wanted to help as many people as possible. “I believed I could make a difference in the culture of science, and saw policy/government as a way to do that,” he said in an alumni feature story.

Now, as a program director at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, he knows that graduate students have many career options beyond university laboratories and he’s working to help education programs do a better job of preparing students.

I spoke with him recently to learn more about his work.

Why is it important to have scientists working in policy?

I think about this like a biologist who has studied signaling between cells. A lot of what happens ‘downstream’ at individual Ph.D. programs and research groups is driven by the ‘upstream’ signals sent by funding agencies and institutions. I view working in policy as a manner to drive positive change at a broad scale, and that’s why I got into science in the first place.

Could you tell me more about a National Academies of Sciences report on the future of graduate education for the sciences, engineering and medicine? What was the report’s goal?

 Across all STEM fields, 60 percent of today’s PhD graduate students are pursuing careers outside of academia. Despite the fact that science and the career landscape for early career scientists has changed, in many ways, graduate education remains the same as it did when a career in academic research was considered the default. While there have been some bold experiments in career diversification, especially the National Institutes of Health’s BEST program, there remains a need to broaden career development during graduate training.

How can changes be made?

Primarily, this is done by aligning the incentives of advisors and research institutions with the needs of their trainees.

First, we need to make graduate education more student-centered. This means emphasizing mentoring and focusing on the talents, research interests, and career aspirations of individual trainees. We also need to think about career and professional development, not as something that takes away from one’s time in the lab, but rather as something that supplements your ability to be a professional.

Second, graduate education needs to be inclusive. This means, at a minimum, being able to cultivate talent from all backgrounds and supporting students pursuing a variety of scientific careers.

This means that diversity directly plays a role in the quality of training?

Yes. In a Scientific American blog, I wrote that diversity is a ‘foundational prerequisite for program excellence.’ Through diversity, we gain a broader variety of perspectives to address complex scientific problems, more robust learning environments, improved global competitiveness, and enhanced public trust.

We will only be able to advance as a society if we are able to harness everyone’s contributions. Therefore, graduate education needs to cultivate talent and support students from all backgrounds and inclusive of race/ethnicity, gender, age, culture, and international groups. 

Could you explain how your agency is using a new funding opportunity for graduate programs to promote change?

Changes in the T32 funding announcement are intended to encourage biomedical graduate training to keep pace with the rapid evolution of the research enterprise, which is increasingly complex, quantitative, interdisciplinary, and collaborative.

In the announcement, we ask that programs ensure that trainees develop the technical, operational and professional skills that allow them to transition into careers in the biomedical research workforce. Also, the funding announcement is intended to support outstanding research training environments that pay particular attention to groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences.

Photo by Ben McDavid/The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles