There are two MBRS Programs at CSU:
Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE)
Support of Competitive Research (SCORE).
Both Programs are funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).* The CSU-MBRS Programs are designed to (i) provide expanded opportunities for students
majoring in biology, chemistry and physics to prepare for doctoral-level work (RISE)
and, (ii) enhance the biomedical research capabilities of the university (SCORE).
The RISE Program is authorized for funding through 2017 and faculty SCORE research
projects are funded through 2014.
Over the past three decades, undergraduate and graduate students have been received
research training and financial support from the CSU MBRS Programs. More than 400
students have graduated with B.S. degrees in biology, chemistry or physics and 50
have earned M.S. degrees in biology. More than one-hundred students have gone on to
doctoral degrees in biology, chemistry, medicine, or medically-related professions
at prestigious schools, such as University of Illinois, University of Iowa, University
of Michigan, Purdue, University of Notre Dame, University of Missouri, Louisiana State
University, Northwestern University, Emory University, Howard University, and Wayne
State University. As of this date 21 have earned PhD degrees in STEM disciplines.
For a listing click here
Prior to 1999, NIH support for research and student development activities was centered
on one MBRS program. Since 1999, student-development activities for undergraduates
is funded by the RISE Program while research is supported by the SCORE Program.
Since the division of the MBRS into RISE and SCORE, more than 200 RISE scholars have
been awarded baccalaureate degrees in the sciences and 46 have progressed to Ph.D.
programs. RISE alumni who did not go on to academic graduate programs have obtained employment
in teaching, health profession areas both in the public sector (hospitals and medical
laboratories) and in private industry (pharmaceutical companies). Participation in
MBRS workshops or research projects is equated by many prospective employers to job
experience and gives CSU graduates a competitive advantage in the job market.
The NIH MBRS Programs have been one of the largest single source of non-state support
for faculty-led research in the biomedical sciences at CSU. Over past two decades, sixteen projects have received support from the NIH and have provided vital resources
for research training for undergraduates and graduate students.
RISE Program. The principal personnel are the Program Director (PD) assisted by a Program Coordinator,
Program Secretary and faculty who supervise the program activities.
SCORE Program. Three faculty Principal Investigators are currently supported by the MBRS-SCORE Program,
and several more expect to submit applications when the NIH re-introduces the program.
Over the past two decades an additional eleven faculty research projects have received support from the SCORE
Program and the earlier MBRS Program.
Dr. Devi Potluri is the PD of the MBRS-RISE Program and Dr. Warren Sherman coordinates the day-to-day program activities. They are assisted by a fifteen-member
Advisory Committee composed of PIs of the SCORE Program, the RISE faculty, and additional
faculty and administrators.
The MBRS RISE Program employs undergraduate students as research trainees. Students majoring in
biology, chemistry, physics, or other biomedically-related areas who are interested
in pursuing careers in scientific research may participate in either on-campus SCORE
research projects or off-campus at research universities or national laboratories.
RISE also employs students as peer tutors for gateway courses in the sciences, in
the TILT summer skills workshop and provides assistance in the graduate-school application
By participating in RISE and SCORE, students learn scientific concepts, skills and techniques beyond those taught in
the regular classroom. They learn to apply techniques and carry out procedures to
which they may be exposed only briefly in traditional science courses. From these
experiences, students obtain a much greater appreciation of the interdisciplinary
nature of biomedical research and the interrelatedness of their studies. Additionally,
travel support provides students with unique opportunities to attend national scientific
meetings and network with leading scientists with national reputations . To date,
21 alumni of RISE and its predecessor MBRS program have been awarded PhD degrees in
STEM disciplines. For details, click here.
RISE. Faculty particpate as Project Investigators, coordinators and instructors in the
student-development RISE Projects.they also provide individual mentorship for the RISE scholars.
SCORE. Over the past two decades a total of sixteen faculty-led research projects have been supported by the MBRS and SCORE Programs. The MBRS Coordinator runs an
annual training workshop for new faculty to encourage them to apply for new SCORE
Since the primary goal of the NIH MBRS Program derives from a 1972 act of the Congress of the United States to address the under-representation
of minorities in the biomedical research professions in the US, participation in the
RISE Program is restricted to U.S. citizens or non-citizens with immigration status.
To participate in RISE students must be attending CSU on a full-time basis and normally
possess a GPA minimum of 3.0. (In exceptional circumstances, students will be accepted
with less than 3.0 if they are progressing towards this goal.) APPLICATION FORMS may be downloaded by clicking here. On completion, please submit it to MBRS Secretary Ms. Debra Walls, SCIENCE BUILDING,
ROOM 222 (telephone: 773-995-2279; fax: 773-995-2169). The completed form will be
reviewed by the RISE Advisory Committee. Dr. Potluri or Dr. Sherman will inform the
applicant of his/her placement.
The RISE program is not currently mandated to provide financial support for graduate
students. However, graduate students can be employed in SCORE projects as research
assistants. Graduate students normally initiate the application procedure by making
contact with a faculty member whose research is supported by the SCORE Program and
with whom they wish to do their thesis research. The current list of SCORE-supported
faculty may be found in the SCORE section of this website.
The following is a summary of recent CSU MBRS budgets:
Funding total ($)
Funding total ($)
* The CSU RISE and SCORE Programs are supported by NIGMS/NIH grants
R25 GM059218 and SO6 GM008043, respectively.
** The NIH replaced SCORE institutional grants with individual faculty-led grants
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Page last updated 01/15/14