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Meyerhoff Scholars Visit NIH

NIH recently welcomed about two dozen Meyerhoff scholars to the campus for a tour. The students were briefed on NIH and its programs by Dr. Yvonne Maddox, NIH acting deputy director, and Levon Parker, NINDS minority and special concerns program officer. Later, Dr. Roland Owens, a senior investigator in the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Biology at NIDDK, led the scholars on a lab tour.

Dr. Roland Owens (r), a senior investigator in NIDDK's Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Biology, leads several Meyerhoff scholars on a lab tour.

The Meyerhoff Scholarship Program was created at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in 1988 with a grant from the Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Foundation to address the shortage of African Americans in the sciences and engineering. The initial grant enabled UMBC to launch a program of full support for outstanding African-American males competitively selected from across Maryland to major in mathematics, science, engineering or computer science, and pursue M.D., Ph.D., or M.D./Ph.D. degrees. The first Meyerhoff scholars were 19 African-American men who enrolled in the fall of 1989. A year later the program was expanded to include African American women and students from across the country.

Levon Parker, NINDS minority and special concerns program officer, briefs students on NIH programs and opportunities.

Currently there are 180 Meyerhoff scholars enrolled at UMBC; the program is open to all high-achieving high school seniors who have an interest in pursuing doctoral study in the sciences and engineering, and who are interested in the advancement of minorities in the sciences and related fields. Over the years, several Meyerhoff students have been participants in the NIH Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research. The scholars' visit to NIH was coordinated by Sharon Greenwell of the Visitor Information Center, NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison.

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