NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Johnson, Extramural Research Leaders Visit Bowie State University

Seven people pose for a group photo in a lobby of an academic building
At BSU, NIH deputy director for management Dr. Alfred Johnson (c) is joined by (from l) Dr. Carl Goodman, Bowie State University provost and vice president for academic affairs; Annette Owens- Scarboro, NIH Small Business Program Office program manager/HBCU coordinator; Bowie State University president Dr. Aminta Breaux; Diane Frasier, NIH head of the contracting activity and director, Office of Acquisition and Logistics Management; Dr. Ericka Boone, E committee cochair, NIH UNITE, and acting director, Division of Biomedical Research Workforce, NIH Office of Extramural Research; and Robert Vinson, Jr., program manager for small business and entrepreneurial development, OER.

NIH deputy director for management Dr. Alfred C. Johnson and a delegation of agency leaders, including several representing the UNITE committee for extramural research, visited Bowie State University recently to learn more about the school’s biomedical research capabilities and activities.

The campus visit followed an invitation from university president Dr. Aminta H. Breaux, who had attended a presentation on UNITE that Johnson delivered during a roundtable discussion with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). 

An HBCU, Bowie State University participates in NIH’s Path to Excellence and Innovation Initiative 2.0 cohort, which provides HBCUs with resources for building contracting capacity and infrastructure by specifically targeting acquisition opportunities.

During his presentation, Johnson explained that NIH created UNITE to address structural racism in the biomedical research enterprise. Each letter in UNITE has a meaning and a committee tasked with specific objectives.

The U represents Understanding stakeholder experiences, N focuses on New research on health equity, I is for Improving the NIH culture for equity, T signifies transparency and communication and E represents the extramural research ecosystem.

Among other goals, the E committee’s charge includes developing strategies to address funding disparities and increase applications that would support individuals from underrepresented groups.

Bowie State is the oldest HBCU in Maryland and has several programs that parallel the E committee’s goals. 

During their visit, NIH’ers were introduced to BSU’s Entrepreneurship Academy, Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community and Center for Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Nursing.

The academy is a resource for entrepreneurship among students, faculty and alumni. The initiative is made possible by a team of experts, businesses and donors shaping the next generation of entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurship ecosystem consists of students, faculty, staff and alumni.

The Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community (ELLC) connects the university to the community. With housing for more than 500 students, retail space and resources for entrepreneurs, ELLC is a real-world innovation hub that encourages creative collaboration and entrepreneurial thinking. 

Bowie State’s Center for Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Nursing includes research and instructional laboratories, flexible classrooms, a nursing simulation wing and a fully enclosed greenhouse.

According to participants, the visit resulted in a better understanding and awareness of the research being conducted at Bowie State and other HBCUs.

The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

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