Howard University is partnering with a sect of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop an innovative program that is expected to expand over the next few years.

HBCU Buzz reports the initiative with the National Institute of Health will position Howard's medical students and faculty among the nation's top research investigators. Howard, a private HBCU located in Washington, D.C., is comprised of 13 separate schools and has championed research since its 1867 debut. The university continues to produce the most Black American credited doctors of philosophy in the country. 

The NIH-HUIRC alliance will begin as a two-year program focused on the university's junior educators, graduate students and health trainees. Those enrolled in Microbiology, Physiology and Biophysics, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Genetics and Human Genetics and Pharmacology will be among the first to immerse in the pilot program, according to the college's website.

“The purpose of the NIH-HUIRC collaboration is to engage in collaborative scientific discovery through research and development of joint training programs between NIH and Howard University,” said Vice President of Clinical Affairs and Dean of the College of Medicine, Dr. Hugh E. Mighty, in a statement. “We expect junior faculty who participate in the NIH-HUIRC to develop the requisite skill sets to procure external grants and enhance scholarly productivity.”

The project will reportedly focus on creating innovative ways to tackle the complexities within the current structural foundation of scientific research. Following the success of the double-year strategy, the NIH is expected to amplify its reach within the university to other academic departments.

Additionally, the partnership is slated to bring the privilege of unprecedented access to knowledge and career-altering mentorship to its student body through a group of NIH researchers. Biomedical mentees will reportedly receive one-of-a-kind lectures, equipment and instruction as an integral measure of the collaboration.

Chief Scientific Officer and Associate Director for Clinical Research for NIH, John I. Gallin, M.D, also shared his excitement about the merger. “NIH is delighted to have Howard University as a partner,” he said. “We are excited about the prospect of leveraging our diverse communities to optimize the research and training at both our institutions.”

The starting date of the initiative has not been announced. However, researchers currently enrolled in the College of Medicine are encouraged to contact the Associate Dean for Research Dr. Celia J. Maxwell to inquire about participating in the groundbreaking initiative at

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