The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health is the sponsor for the STEP-UP Program. The program provides an opportunity for high school and undergraduate students to conduct biomedical research for eight (8) to ten (10) weeks in the summer in labs throughout the country. The purpose of the program is to increase the number of ethnic minorities who are involved in biomedical research with an emphasis on the areas of diabetes, digestive and kidney diseases. There is a critical shortage of minorities in biomedical research and the health professions (Hispanic/Latino, African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Islanders, and Alaskan Native Population). As a result, critical insights and perspectives from these groups are lacking in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the growing and important field of biomedical research and health science. 

UCLA participates in this program via UCLA STEP-UP, under the oversight of Dr. Keith Norris. UCLA serves as a Coordinating Center for the Western Region for the NIH-NIDDK STEP-UP Program. The UCLA STEP-UP provides an enriched summer research experience for promising high school students from underrepresented racial/ethnic minority (URM) groups as well as students from other groups underrepresented (URG) in medicine and science. The overarching goal of the UCLA STEP-UP is to prepare participating students for research careers in the biomedical and clinical health sciences.

For more information, please visit the NIH’s STEP-UP webpage.

Last updated
January 18, 2024