BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A record setting biomedical research grant is awarded to Morgan State University.

Tracey Leong explains how the school plans to use these funds.

With the grant, Morgan State University is looking forward to expanding and diversifying the next generation of scientific researchers.

Inside the lab, Joshua Ross is preparing for his future.

“I hope to be a doctor, medical physician or maybe follow some path in research,” said the Morgan State student.

Ross is part of an underrepresented group hoping to work in the field of science. The National Institutes of Health wants to encourage more students to take this path, awarding a $23.3 million grant to Morgan State University.

“Hispanic, African American and Asian and multi-racial. Those are the populations that are not going into the fields that are absolutely critical for American innovation, for American competitiveness,” said David Wilson, president of Morgan State University.

Wilson says it is an honor to win such a competitive award.

“Only ten percent of all the proposals were selected. And Morgan’s proposal was not only selected, but it was one of the top funding proposals as well,” Wilson said.

The goal is to develop a program with novel training methods to properly prepare students.

“Nothing makes us happier when we see our students go on and do something that has an effect on the world and they change the world,” said Farin Kamangar, Department of Public Health Analysis.

Giving undergrads like Ross the tools to advance and invigorate the field.

“As long as I get to help and know that I make a difference, then that just makes me happy,” Ross said.

The grant will be spread out over the next five years. After that term, the university is hoping to reapply for another five years.

Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland are among the research partners to assist in the project.

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