Queensborough Wins Million Dollar Grant From the National Institutes of Health

Published: September 21, 2018

Queensborough Community College has been awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant in the amount of $1,594,202.

This major grant, which provides an additional five years (September 1, 2018-August 31, 2023) of funding for the Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program, was secured by Dr. Patricia Schneider of the Biological Sciences and Geology Department at Queensborough. The program is a partnership established between Queensborough, Queens College and City College to achieve the long-term goals of improving Queensborough’s ability to train and graduate under-represented science students, and to facilitate their transfer to baccalaureate programs in biomedicine or behavioral science.

"Dr. Schneider has been the driving force behind NIH Bridges for the last 15 years. Participation in the grant has been a life changing experience for hundreds of our students. Many of them have gone on to earn Ph.D.’s and M.D.’s, all thanks to a great head start that was given by the NIH Bridges program,” said Dr. Nidhi Gadura, Professor and Chairperson, Biological Sciences and Geology.

The NIH Bridges to Baccalaureate program at Queensborough boasts a total of 273 Bridges students from 2002-2018. This year, 15 students conducted research under the supervision of biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and behavioral science faculty mentors. These research mentors serve as role models and provide students with encouragement, career advisement and visibility within the academic community. Student research led to 4 awards and 19 oral/poster presentations at regional and/or national meetings. Overall 83% of participants transfer and 72% complete in biomedicine/behavioral baccalaureate degrees. To date, 6 students have been awarded doctoral degrees and seven students are currently enrolled in doctoral programs (4 biology, 2 chemistry and 1 psychology).  In addition, three Doctor of Pharmacy, two M.D. and 32 Master’s Degrees have been awarded.

 “Students learn of the excitement and significance of biomedical research through the Bridges program,” said Dr. Schneider, a leader in encouraging and supporting students in undergraduate research. “Their success rates are based in enhanced academic planning, curricula development, updated technology in teaching labs, faculty development, and peer mentoring. In turn, students are able to get beyond the “gateway” to careers in biomedicine.”

Scientific communication skills are explicitly taught, and each student gives an oral presentation and submits a written report at the program wide seminar. A comprehensive system of academic and psychosocial support is provided to participants. Transfer counseling and early interaction with the senior college eases transition to baccalaureate programs.

Queensborough Community College is considered one of the best two-year schools in the nation, offering a world class, low-cost public higher education.  The diverse college – part of the expansive City University of New York (CUNY) system - has been hailed by both The Chronicle of Higher Education and Community College Week as a top-degree producer and a leading college in regard to social mobility into the middle class. These accolades reflect Queensborough’s dedication to providing students with a comprehensive educational experience through its rigorous academic programs, a personalized advisement program and faculty-led research opportunities.

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