Daniel Moloney, Research Assistant Professor in the Center for Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME) within the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, has been awarded a five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health through its Bridges to Baccalaureate program, called the Biology Partnership in Research and Education Program (BioPREP) at Stony Brook University. Moloney will co-direct the program with Jennie Williams, Associate Professor of Medicine. The goal of BioPREP is to educate, train and attract academically strong community college students from underrepresented populations to careers in biomedical sciences and research.
Each year, a dozen underrepresented minority students from Nassau and Suffolk County Community Colleges will have the opportunity to conduct biomedical research at Stony Brook University for ten weeks during the summer and present their research at a national research conference. The first cohort of students will be selected in March and will begin training on campus in May 2014.
BioPREP has been a highly successful program at Stony Brook University for the past two decades. R. David Bynum, Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology and Associate Director of CESAME, previously served as program director. Since its inception, more than 400 community college students have participated in the program. Eighty percent of BioPREP participants pursue and earn a bachelor degree in a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) field, and more than one-third of participants pursue advanced graduate degrees.
“A former BioPREP participant recently contacted us to say how grateful he is to have been a part of BioPREP in 2002 and how it influenced his educational and career path,” said Moloney. “Carlos Peñaloza, now a PhD, wrote regarding BioPREP: ‘I was also exposed to a great deal of opportunities that ultimately guided my path in academia.’” Peñaloza is now serving as Dean of Health Sciences and Chair of Healthcare Administration at Briarcliffe College.
Moloney is a Stony Brook alum, earning his BS in Biochemistry and PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. He is also Program Director of the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Fellowship program, which trains and encourages underrepresented minority undergraduate students at Stony Brook University to pursue doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Moloney develops labs and teaches in the Biotechnology Teaching Laboratories, where thousands of middle school and high school students come each year to do science.