Doctoral Student Development Program At UAMS Granted $1.8 Million

By Nathan Tidwell

Created in 2009 through a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, IMSD’s goal is to increase the number of doctoral graduates from underrepresented groups through a wide-ranging mentoring and training program.

“The IMSD program provides support for students transitioning from being an undergraduate into the graduate school environment,” said Antiño Allen, Ph.D., program co-principal investigator and a professor in the UAMS College of Pharmacy. “We also try to provide students insight into different careers that may be available to them after graduation.”

IMSD students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and be accepted into the UAMS Graduate School’s Biomedical Informatics, Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences or Pharmaceutical Sciences Ph.D. programs.

“We’ve tripled the enrollment since the beginning of the program,” said program co-principal investigator Billy Thomas, M.D., professor and neonatologist in the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics. “It’s been productive for UAMS and the state of Arkansas as a whole.”

IMSD students participate in a four-week summer transition program consisting of lectures on various biomedical topics, career and developmental seminars, and a summer research rotation prior to the fall of their first year of coursework.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.