Diversity is power.  Diversity of thought, perspective, and approach is essential to optimize performance of a team, organization, country.  Manifesting itself most powerfully over the last century during World War II, diversity in the form of the cultures and talents of those from marginalized groups – the Navajo Code Talkers, Rosie the Riveter, the Women in Bletchley Park, and the Tuskegee Airmen – helped shape and empower Allied efforts in the European and Pacific theaters, ultimately helping pave the way to victory on all fronts.  Diversity of thought, perspective, and approach is also essential to crack the most important, intractable scientific questions of our time.  To advance the boundaries of scientific knowledge and to cure currently incurable diseases, the scientific community in the United States and the world, must realize the immense scientific potential within its diverse populations. By creating a positive, personal, supportive, and critical scientific community in which students thrive, the Washington University MARC U-STAR Program seeks to drive the success of students, especially those from under-represented groups, in research-based science.









Funded by the NIH, the Washington University MARC U-STAR Program seeks to train undergraduate students who are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences to think critically and write and speak effectively about their research in order to increase their ability to gain entry into and excel in top PhD programs nation-wide.  To achieve this mission, we oversee two programs that come with competitive stipends: the U STAR Pre-Sophomore Summer Scholars Program, an 8-week program that exposes students to independent research via a mentored training experience, and our MARC U-STAR Program, a two-year junior- and senior-level program, in which students carry out independent research, attend a weekly seminar on scientific presentation, and have the opportunity to attend scientific conferences.  If you are interested in research based science and the PhD and want to become part of a supportive research community, check out our programs below and follow the appropriate links.

Pre-sophomore Summer Program







I loved the community, and it helped me realize the importance of a support system when trying something new, like research.” 

“The Thursday Lectures were great. First off we got pizza! But, the lectures were awesome. I found it interesting learning about what people were researching. And I enjoyed hearing about how each researcher got to where they are now.

 Click here to learn about and apply to the Pre-sophomore Summer Program.

Academic Year Program











“Despite being a seminar, this is the best class I’ve taken at Wash U.”

“Really made the class feel at home.”

“This is an amazing program. Dr Skeath provides such great mentorship and helps students to ask the right questions in order to think like a scientist.”

Click here to learn about and apply to the Junior/Senior Year Academic Program.


Spring 2016: Kellie Wilson awarded Provost Fellowship for graduate study at Vanderbilt University.

Spring 2017: Corban Swain awarded NSF Graduate Resarch Fellowship and will pursue a PhD in Bioengineering at MIT.

Fall 2018: Reuben Hogan and Derrick Ogola win talk and poster awards at 2017 ABRCMS.

Fall 2018: Jasmine Brown Awarded 2018 Rhodes Scholarship and will attend Oxford University for graduate study.

Spring 2018: Reuben Hogan – Student Selected Speaker for Washington University Graduation Recognition Ceremony.

Spring 2018: Jasmine Brown, Maria Dabrowski, Reuben Hogan, Daniela Jimenez, Daniel Khan, and Abhishek Sethi graduate.