New Effort to Boost Students From Underrepresented Groups in Toxicology

Wilson Rumbeiha, a professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine at Iowa State University, is leading an effort to encourage students from underrepresented groups to pursue studies in toxicology. The effort, funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, is being conducted in conjunction with Tuskegee University and Ohio State University. The Toxicology Mentoring and Skills Development Training Program will link undergraduate students with professional toxicologists in academia, government, and industry.

A total of 15 undergraduates, including eight from Iowa State and seven from Tuskegee University, are participatin in the initial semester of the program, which began recently with a three-day workshop at Iowa State where they met their mentors. Program participants will complete online coursework related to toxicology, attend a major toxicology conference in Baltimore in March, and travel to their mentor’s place of work for a one-on-one job shadow.

Dr. Rumbeila stated “we want to create a pipeline of underrepresented groups into the workforce as toxicologists. The profession of toxicology and the nation as a whole benefits from a more diverse workforce.”

Dr. Rumbeiha is a graduate of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. He holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and toxicology from the Ontario Veterinary College of the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

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