The original postbaccalaureate training opportunity was catalyzed by a joint funding effort between OHSU’s Chief Research Officer, Dr. Peter Barr-Gillespie and Vollum Institute Senior Scientist, Dr. Gary Westbrook. Developed and directed by Dr. Letisha Wyatt (Associate Professor of Neurology), in 2018 the OHSU Neuroscience Post-Baccalaureate Initiative (NPBI) was launched to provide one-year of full-time, paid research opportunities and skill development to recent college graduates whom identify as individuals from underrepresented groups in STEM.
Three successful years of OHSU NPBI resulted in 100% matriculation of our postbaccalaureate alumni into Ph.D.-conferring neuroscience programs at competitive universities around the country. The early success of the OHSU NPBI program served as preliminary evidence for the need for a postbaccalaureate program that encompasses not only the neurosciences, but all fields of biomedical research at OHSU. Thus, in 2021 Dr. Wyatt and Dr. Gary Westbrook received funding from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to develop OHSU PREP. Funding from NIGMS, OHSU Research & Innovation Office, and the Vollum Institute allows OHSU PREP to admit 5-6 PREP scholars each year.