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Emergency Notification

Cal State LA receives NIH grant to boost research in biomedical and behavioral sciences

December 13, 2018

By Margie Low | Cal State LA News Service

Cal State LA has been awarded a five-year, $500,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide biomedical and behavioral sciences research opportunities to undergraduates.

The grant, from the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, will establish the Summer Program of Research Opportunities for Undergraduate Training (SPROUT) at Cal State LA to offer firsthand research experience to students, along with a paid stipend for the summer.

“We are super excited to receive this funding because it will allow promising students the opportunity to focus their efforts on research,” said Ray de Leon, who is one of the grant’s principal investigators and director of the School of Kinesiology and Nutritional Science at Cal State LA. “We know our students want to do research, but a lot of them can’t because they have jobs or other commitments.”

Coordinated by de Leon and co-principal investigator Kimberly Morland, SPROUT will be housed in the university’s Rongxiang Xu College of Health and Human Services.

Through a 15-week summer intensive training program, undergraduate students will gain expertise and develop research skills in behavioral and biomedical sciences, including the areas of rehabilitation and child development.

Participants will learn about graduate programs and careers in research. They will also attend workshops on scientific writing, analytical techniques, data management and data presentation. SPROUT scholars will work with professors engaged in a wide range of research.

“One SPROUT scholar may be doing research focused on helping toddlers with language disorders, while another may be researching health disparities in immigrant populations,” de Leon said. “Others may be using biological assays to study exercise in humans or animal models of spinal cord injury.”  

For more information on the summer program or its application process, please go to the Cal State LA SPROUT’s webpage.

Photo: Cal State LA students providing exercise therapy to clients from the community while conducting research on biomedical rehabilitation. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)

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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 28,000 students and has more than 245,000 distinguished alumni.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit