Dr. Lambert Spearheads Study on Mentorship Networks for Underrepresented Researchers

By Office of the President | Apr 2, 2024

Marcus LambertLast fall, we proudly announced that W. Marcus Lambert, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Research Strategy and Operations, received the  Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA) R35 $1.72M grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Spread over a five-year period, this grant will fund research on the dynamics of effective mentorship networks for underrepresented researchers. Dr. Lambert and his team are actively engaged in crafting a mentorship network analysis tool designed to specifically pinpoint and assess mentorship networks. This tool will highlight biomedical research achievements and tackle mentorship deficiencies experienced by aspiring researchers from underrepresented communities.

Dr. Lambert is a staunch advocate of promoting diversity in science using biomedical and epidemiological research methodologies. He strongly encourages the use of mentorship networks that involve multiple individuals in various mentorship roles, emphasizing their ability to support and advance underrepresented researchers in academia. The exact impact of such networks on research achievements and the fundamental attributes that define successful networks for early-career researchers from underrepresented backgrounds remain unclear.

Alongside colleagues from Stanford University, Dr. Lambert recently co-authored “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Unlocking the Power of Virtual Networking for Early-Career Researchers,” a thought-provoking article published in eLife that shares invaluable advice to early-career researchers from underrepresented backgrounds about establishing virtual connections with seasoned scientists. The article offers practical tips, including strategies for crafting compelling cold emails and leveraging social media platforms, as well as participation in affinity groups like Black in Neuro and Latinas in Neuro.

Dr. Lambert leads efforts to grow Downstate’s externally funded research endeavors, particularly focusing on alleviating inequalities in scientific and public health education. Alongside Moro O. Salifu, M.D., MBA, MPH, MACP, Department of Medicine chair and Nephrology Division chief, Carla Boutin-Foster, M.D., MS, Department of Medicine professor and Office of Diversity Education and Research associate dean, and I, as President, have had the privilege of collaborating with Dr. Lambert. He is a Principal Investigator (PI) for the TRANSlational Program of Health Disparities Research Training (TRANSPORT), a $10M NIH grant aimed at establishing a translational health disparities research initiative.

Dr. Lambert also frequently collaborates as a co-PI with Marlene Camacho-Rivera, ScD, MS, MPH, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences, and Dr. Boutin-Foster on the Clinical Research Scholars Training (CREST) Program, a School of Public Health initiative designed to train physicians and nurses in conduct health disparities and health equity research.

Tags: health disparities