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Contact: Yvonne Psaila
yvonnep@keystonesymposia.org
970-262-2676
Keystone Symposia on Molecular & Cellular Biology

Keystone Symposia announces grant from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Grant to fund an advanced life sciences training program

Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology is pleased to announce it has received a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for a unique Advanced Life Sciences Training Program.

The grant will provide funding for a two-day conference in Denver in July 2013 for all five classes of participants in the Keystone Symposia Fellows Program since its inception in 2008. The Fellows Program is a high-level life science research mentoring and positioning program for postdoctoral fellows and other early-career investigators committed to diversity. Through involvement in the Keystone Symposia program development process, Fellows receive invaluable mentoring and access to the inner workings of the life sciences community. To date, 18 individuals have graduated from the Program, which is funded by a multi-year MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers) grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the NIH. Five participants are currently mid-way through the 2012-2013 Program.

The summer training conference will provide a face-to-face opportunity equipping participants with advanced grant-writing skills to increase the rate of grant acquisition for early-career scientists. It will also provide them with strategies and tools to confront diversity-related challenges and issues in the workplace. A variety of experts will be tapped from around the country to provide the training.

Dr. Laina King, Director of Diversity in Life Science Programs at Keystone Symposia, expressed her appreciation for the grant: "The support from the Foundation allows us to take the Fellows Program one step further and give participants formal and focused training in the areas that are proving most challenging for early-career investigators. We are deeply grateful for the commitment the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is demonstrating to life science diversity in making such a program possible."

Dr. Elizabeth Boylan, Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, commented: "I am very pleased that we were able to make this grant as part of our higher-education portfolio focusing on professional advancement for underrepresented populations. We value the opportunity to assist early-career scientists in the acquisition of key professional skills, and look forward to learning about outcomes vis--vis standard career parameters as well as engagement with diversity matters on their home campuses and in their professional societies."

This is the second grant for Keystone Symposia from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Some of Keystone Symposia's earliest diversity initiatives were launched with the help of a Sloan grant received in April 2008. Subsequent efforts have been funded with the help of the MARC grant as well as corporate support from Amgen, Biogen Idec and Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.

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About Keystone Symposia

Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization, has been conducting internationally renowned, open scientific conferences since 1972 and has been headquartered in Summit County, Colorado since 1990, when the organization left the University of California at Los Angeles. Annually, Keystone Symposia holds more than 50 conferences involving more than 12,000 scientists from around the world and on topics ranging from cancer and cardiovascular disease to neuroscience and plant biology. Registration fees are supplemented by support from corporate, foundation and individual donors as well as government grants.

More information on Keystone Symposia can be found at http://www.keystonesymposia.org, and further details on its diversity initiatives and Fellows Program can be found at http://www.keystonesymposia.org/diversity and http://www.keystonesymposia.org/fellows respectively.

About the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grantmaking institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of General Motors, the Foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance. See http://www.sloan.org for more information.



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