Case Western Reserve University is the site of the 2014 Association of Underrepresented Minority Fellows (AUMF) fall symposium, “Advancing Diversity in the Biomedical Sciences: New Collaborations for Building Capacity.”

The national symposium will be held Oct. 17-19 at the Tinkham Veale University Center. The event will focus on the state of minorities in the biomedical science fields and efforts to increase the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) pipelines.

The symposium will feature regional and national speakers, including a keynote address by Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County and chair of President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. The meeting will also feature Gilda Barabino, president of the prestigious Biomedical Engineering Society and dean of the Grove School of Engineering at the City College of New York.

According to a recent report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, in order for the country to retain its historical preeminence in science and technology, economic projections estimate the need for 1 million more STEM professionals in the next decade than the United States is on pace to produce. “To meet this goal,” the report says, “the United States will need to increase the number of students who receive undergraduate STEM degrees by about 34 percent annually over current rates.”

“The symposium will be an opportunity to highlight minority scientists, as well as a call to action to escalate our pipeline efforts, both at CWRU, as well as nationally, in the biomedical science and other STEM research fields,” said Marilyn Mobley, the university’s vice president for the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity (OIDEO).

The symposium will include an interactive poster session and panel discussions on such topics as:

  • the role of scientific advances in enhancing human longevity
  • how innovations in computation neuroscience, nanotechnology, brain imaging and molecular neuroscience are advancing knowledge about the role of brain circuits in health and disease
  • funding support for postdoctoral fellows looking to make the transition to junior faculty and how academic medical centers can support these individuals
  • the role of academic medical centers in training underrepresented biomedical scientists to pursue alternative career paths and the role of biomedical scientists as entrepreneurs

The symposium is expected to attract more than 100 scientists, researchers, educators and others nationally.

In addition, it will highlight a new partnership between the AUMF and CWRU’s African American Alumni Association. The association will be engaged in the university’s homecoming activities that weekend and will host a dinner dance featuring national recording artist Oleta Adams jointly with AUMF on Oct. 18.

The symposium, sponsored by AUMF and OIDEO, is the culmination of a three-year partnership in which CWRU served as the inaugural host institution for the AUMF.

The AUMF is national professional organization dedicated to substantially increasing the number of underrepresented minority biomedical scientists and STEM researchers. It also serves as a resource to biomedical and other STEM professionals, students and researchers. Its members includes minority scientists and researchers, many of whom are former fellows, and individuals, academic institutions, corporations and public agencies dedicated to the mission of the organization.

To register for the conference, visit theaumf2014symposium.eventbrite.com. For more information about the conference, visit case.edu/diversity, theaumf.org or contact Janetta Hammock in the OIDEO at janetta.hammock@case.edu.