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Ethn Dis. 2017 Apr 20;27(2):107-116. doi: 10.18865/ed.27.2.107. eCollection 2017 Spring.

Enhancing Diversity in Biomedical Data Science.

Author information

1
California State University, Monterey Bay.
2
California State University, Fullerton.
3
University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus.
4
Fisk University.
5
National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Abstract

The gap in educational attainment separating underrepresented minorities from Whites and Asians remains wide. Such a gap has significant impact on workforce diversity and inclusion among cross-cutting Biomedical Data Science (BDS) research, which presents great opportunities as well as major challenges for addressing health disparities. This article provides a brief description of the newly established National Institutes of Health Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) diversity initiatives at four universities: California State University, Monterey Bay; Fisk University; University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus; and California State University, Fullerton. We emphasize three main barriers to BDS careers (ie, preparation, exposure, and access to resources) experienced among those pioneer programs and recommendations for possible solutions (ie, early and proactive mentoring, enriched research experience, and data science curriculum development). The diversity disparities in BDS demonstrate the need for educators, researchers, and funding agencies to support evidence-based practices that will lead to the diversification of the BDS workforce.

KEYWORDS:

Big Data; Health Disparities; Health Inequities; Workforce Diversity

PMID:
28439180
PMCID:
PMC5398168
DOI:
10.18865/ed.27.2.107
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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