NIH Grants $1.72M To SUNY Downstate Professor for Study of Underrepresented Research Mentorship Networks

By Office of Communications & Marketing | Dec 13, 2023

Initiative Aims to Strengthen Diversity in Biomedical Research

BROOKLYN, NY - SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University commends W. Marcus Lambert, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Research Strategy and Operations and Associate Professor at Downstate Health Sciences University, recognizing his achievement in securing a five-year $1.72M National Institutes of Health Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (NIH MIRA) R35 grant (an R01-equivalent mechanism) for his research on effective mentorship networks for underrepresented researchers.

Funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), an R35 grant offers investigators the freedom to explore new research avenues that emerge during their studies in alignment with the NIGMS mission. 

“NIGMS recognized Dr. Lambert as a rising star with groundbreaking research that could shed light on the underrepresentation issue in biomedical research,” said Downstate Senior Vice President for Research David Christini, Ph.D. “This aligns with Downstate’s mission of advancing health equity for underserved communities, helping to ensure equitable research participation embraced by the community it serves.”

Over five years, Dr. Lambert and his team will employ graph theory to explore effective mentorship networks for underrepresented researchers in science, aiming to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of an intervention to help researchers of this cohort construct their mentoring networks.

“I’m dedicated to tackling inequities in science and medicine by breaking down barriers for underrepresented researchers and promoting diversity and inclusivity,” said Dr. Lambert. “Thanks to this generous grant, we can use empirical studies to find innovative strategies and solutions to ending these longstanding obstacles.”

An experienced researcher of public health inequities, Dr. Lambert utilizes quantitative and qualitative methods to enhance health equity and population health, improve the academic training path, and retain STEM and public health trainees.

MIRA provides support for research in an investigator’s laboratory; its goal is to increase the efficiency of NIGMS funding by providing investigators with greater stability and flexibility, enhancing scientific productivity, and opportunities for significant breakthroughs. Program funding is distributed widely among the nation’s most talented and promising investigators, both new and established.


About SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn is one of four academic health centers (AMCs) in The State University of New York (SUNY) 64-campus system and the only SUNY AMC in New York City dedicated to health education, research, and patient care for the borough’s 2.7 million residents. Its flagship hospital, University Hospital at Downstate (UHD), is a teaching hospital and benefits from the expertise of Downstate’s exceptional medical school and world-class academic center research facilities. With a staff of over 800 physicians representing 53 specialties and subspecialties, Downstate offers comprehensive healthcare services to the community.

UHD provides high-risk neonatal and infant services, pediatric nephrology, and dialysis for kidney diseases and is the only kidney transplantation program in Brooklyn. Beyond its clinical expertise, Downstate houses a range of esteemed educational institutions, including its College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, School of Graduate Studies, and School of Public Health. Downstate fosters innovation through its multifaceted biotechnology initiative, the Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT, which support early-stage and more mature biotech companies.