Welcome to the Rutgers University Pipeline (RUP)-IMSD Program!


The Rutgers University Pipeline (RUP) Program is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is part of the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD)* Program of the NIGMS.
The RUP- IMSD program seeks to increase the number of talented undergraduate and graduate students from under-represented backgrounds who are: i) preparing for a career in a biomedical science-related profession; and ii) starting post-graduate studies towards a PhD degree
in a biomedical science-related field.


Drawing on the faculty of the many bioscience departments and institutes on the Rutgers campuses in Piscataway and New Brunswick – including in the School of Graduate Studies and affiliated programs on the Rutgers Busch Campus; the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS), and the Child Health Institute of NJ – the RUP- IMSD program provides a diverse, interdisciplinary and exciting environment for scientific training and professional growth for Rutgers undergraduate and graduate students.


As part of a supportive community, we promote the training of our talented students by:


  • Providing Rutgers undergraduate students from under-represented backgrounds with financial support and sustained opportunities to explore biological/biomedical research in an exciting and collegial environment, with strong advising and mentoring;

  • Working with affiliated graduate programs in their recruitment and admissions of PhD students of diverse backgrounds, particularly those from groups under-represented in the biosciences;

  • Providing RUP- IMSD PhD trainees with financial support for up to 18 months;

  • Fostering a supportive and ethnically diverse undergraduate and graduate student community throughout Rutgers;

  • Complementing the mentoring offered by graduate programs and advisors with personalized mentoring and advising on academic, professional development, and social issues;

  • Engaging undergraduate and graduate RUP- IMSD trainees in professional development activities.

Since 1996, our RUP- IMSD trainees have gone on to careers including: research/teaching positions in academic institutions; R&D and management positions in biotech, pharmaceutical and other research-based industries; science writing; research and administration in government agencies; and medicine. We continually evaluate and modify our program and approaches to train our students to succeed in a rapidly evolving scientific and economic environment.


Please peruse our pages regarding the opportunities through the RUP- IMSD program for Rutgers undergraduates and PhD students.


From left to right: Drs. Haimovich, Irizarry and Langer



Jerome Langer, PhD, and Beatrice Haimovich, PhD, Principal Investigators


Patricia Irizarry, PhD, Program Coordinator


Tina Cicolella, Program Assistant


*The Rutgers University Pipeline Program is funded by Grant #R25 GM055145, through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and is part of the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Program of the NIGMS. As an NIH-funded program, we are guided by the NIH description of UR groups to include those reported by the National Science Foundation and the National Academies to be nationally under-represented in biomedical sciences (i.e., African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, natives of U.S. Pacific Islands and people with disabilities).




Emoji Congratulations Emoji


To our recent IMSD trainees on their many achievements!

Click here for details on our graduates.




Deanna De Vore

(mentor: Maureen Barr) for successfully defending her PhD thesis: "Extracellular Matrix Regulates Morphogenesis and Function of Ciliated Sensory Organs"


Olufunmilola (Funmi) Ibironke

(mentor: Stephan Schwander) for successfully defending her PhD thesis: "Air Pollution Particulate Matter Effects on Adaptive Human Anti-mycobacterial Immunity"


Julia Bolanle Olayanju

(mentor: Bing Xia) for successfully defending her PhD thesis: "Understanding the Anti-cancer activity of Moringa Isothiocyanates in Breast Cancer Cells"


Christina Ramirez

(mentor: Ah-Ng (Tony) Kong) for successfully defending her PhD thesis: "Epigenetic Regulation of NRF2 and Ursolic Acid in Skin Carcinogenesis"




Melvili Cintron Cotto

for receiving a fellowship from the American Society for Microbiology (Committee on Postgraduate Educational Programs; CPEP) in clinical microbiology. The program prepares scientists and physicians for leadership roles in the medical and public health laboratory microbiology. Dr. Cintron will train at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC.


Melvili Cintron Cotto

(mentor: Nancy Woychik) for successfully defending her PhD thesis:

"Functional analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis VapC toxins"


Lizahira Rodriguez-Colon

(mentor: Shridar Ganesan) for successfully defending her PhD thesis: "A role for G9a methyltransferase in the DNA response signal"




Eileen Oni

was accepted to the 2017 Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program sponsored by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.


Alejandra S. Laureano

for receiving a NIH F31 entitled Role of shox2 in zebrafish otic neuron development!


Eileen Oni

(mentor: Ronald P. Hart) for successfully defending her PhD thesis: "Bioinformatic Analysis of DNA Methylation in Neural Progenitor Cell Models of Alcohol Abuse"


Christal Lewis

(mentor: Helmut Zarbl) for successfully defending her PhD thesis: "A Transgenerational Study of Exposure to Zeranol, a Dietary Contaminant with Potent Estrogenic Activity"


Eva Rubio-Marrero

(mentor: Davide Comoletti) for successfully defending her PhD thesis: "Structural and Functional Studies of CASPR2, a Molecular Approach of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)"



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