COBRE Center for Neuroscience
Some years ago, Dr. Melissa Harrington (Professor of Biology at Delaware State University) had a vision to enhance diversity in biomedical sciences. Delaware State University is a historically-black college comprised of many first generation African-American students attending college. Creating programs to encourage students at the undergraduate and graduate level to participate in research makes a difference here. Dr. Melissa Harrington and her colleagues have been committed to creating and growing programs that encourage students to participate in research. She, and her colleagues, have created a PhD program in Neuroscience, an undergraduate neuroscience summer program, and an NIH-funded COBRE program at Delaware State University. The COBRE is a cross-institutional NIH-funded program designed to expand the research infrastructure of Delaware and increase diversity in biomedical sciences. This is achieved, in part, by hiring junior faculty at Delaware State University and the University of Delaware. The Charvet lab is the result of Melissa's long-term efforts to expand research infrastructure across the state of Delaware. Learn more about Melissa's mission to increase diversity here.
Activities in the Charvet lab
Neuroscientists across Delaware meet frequently at symposiums. It's a great opportunity for students to present their posters. It's been very rewarding to see young students become enthusiastic before and, especially, after presenting their posters at these meetings. Here you can see Jasmine and Deselyn (members of the Charvet lab) present their posters at these events. They are both planning on going to medical school.
Jasmine presents her poster at a the Delaware Neuroscience symposium in the summer of 2019 (which was organized by Melissa). Jasmine was part of the summer neuroscience program (also organized by Melissa). The summer neuroscience program provides paid internship opportunities for students to participate in research over the summer. Our work was published in Cerebral Cortex in 2020 and is available here.
Deselyn presented her poster at a the Delaware Neuroscience symposium in the fall of 2018. We studied the evolution and development of retinas in mammals. This work is still ongoing.
Activities across Delaware and beyond
The Charvet lab has been involved in mentoring students for the Delaware INBRE summer program, the summer neuroscience program, and the Bridges to PhD program at Delaware State University. Students in these programs can identify mentors at Delaware State University or the University of Delaware. We are excited to present at "Black in Neuro" mini-conference in the Fall of 2020. Dr. Charvet also participates in various programs designed to bring awareness to ethnic and gender disparities. For instance, Dr. Charvet is participating in the Women in Stem symposium organized by the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Delaware in the Fall of 2020. Bringing awareness to gender bias and the issues women face in science is important so that we may create more equitable opportunities in science.