About us

PREP started in 2011 in the beautiful Seattle Campus of the University of Washington (UW). It is a training program funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with the goal of bringing underrepresented minority (URM) students and students with disabilities to the UW for one year, following their graduation with a Baccalaureate degree, during which they will perform laboratory-based research. The expectation is that this year of lab hands-on experience, supplemented with some courses, will facilitate the student’s subsequent enrollment into graduate school in the biomedical sciences.

PREP is hosted by the Department of Chemistry, where all the group meetings, discussions, journal clubs, and mentoring occur. The administration of the program also occurs here. PREP fellows will receive a temporary appointment and will be part of the department for the duration of their stay.

Prof. Gabriele Varani is the program director and the PI of the NIH grant that funds PREP. His office and lab are also located in the Chemistry department. He has extensive experience training students, with a record of over 25 graduate students and over 20 post-docs.

Since its inception in 2011, the program has trained 86 students (as of January 2024), most of whom (85-90% success rate) have been admitted into either doctoral or MD/PhD programs. PREP has been very successful with graduate school enrollment, retention, and completion. So far, a total of 20 former fellows have graduated with a Ph.D. degree and 27 are still enrolled in a Ph.D. program.