Project Overview

The NIH/NIBIB funded LSU ESTEEMED (Enhancing Science, Technology, EnginEering, and Math Educational Diversity) Program helps first year and second year trainees develop as scholars and scientists. The program supports scholars to learn foundational academic and research skills through academic enrichment, advising, financial support, multimodal mentoring, and training in biomedical research laboratories. 

LSU ESTEEMED Scholars participate in a summer bridge program, academic year programming (research, courses, and workshops), and summer research. After two years in ESTEEMED scholars receive priority consideration for other campus UG research programs and apply to the Honors College. The program is designed specifically for students motivated to seek careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences that require Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degrees.



Zakiya Wilson-Kennedy, PI

Cristina Sabliov, co-I
Dorin Boldor, co-I

Valerie Stampley, Project Administrator

TBA, Project Coordinator


ESTEEMED Scholars Receive

Support package valued at ~$36,000 over 2 years

  • $4,000 to support Summer Bridge Experience, which covers on-campus housing, food, and a stipend 
  • Monthly support amounting to $6,000 per semester ($12,000 per academic year) during first-year (freshman) and second-year (sophomore)
  • Travel Funds of $500 per year to attend a national student research conference
  • $4,000 to support participation in a summer research experience and $500 for travel to the research site
  • Personalized 1:1 advising with ESTEEMED faculty and staff

You are eligible for consideration for ESTEEMED if you:

  • Are an American Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Strongly desire to pursue a career as a researcher in biomedical engineering or biomedical sciences (and particularly if you desire a Ph.D.)
  • Plan to major in Biomedical Engineering, Medical Physics, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, or Chemical Engineering
  • Are from a group that is underrepresented in the sciences:
    • have a disability recognized by LSU Office of Disability Services
    • or are ethnically underrepresented in the sciences (Hispanic, African American, American Pacific Islander, Alaskan)
    • or are financially disadvantaged*

 *The NIH considers scientists to have come from a disadvantaged background if they meet at least two of the following criteria:

  1. Were or currently are homeless, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
  2. Were or currently are in the foster care system, as defined by the Administration for Children and Families
  3. Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years
  4. Have/had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor's degree (see the U.S. Department of Education)
  5. Were or currently are eligible for Federal Pell grants
  6. Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children as a parent or child
  7. Grew up in one of the following areas:
    1. a U.S. rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer or
    2. a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated Low-Income and Health Professional Shortage Areas(qualifying zip codes are included in the file)

Note: Only one of the two possibilities in #7 can be used as a criterion for the disadvantaged background


Application Deadline Extended: Friday, June 7, 2024.


Faculty Mentors

  • Micheal Benton, PhD, Professor, Chemical Engineering
  • Dorin Boldor, PhD, Professor, Biological & Agricultural Engineering
  • Qi Cai, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biological & Agricultural Engineering
  • Joyoni Dey, PhD, Associate Professor, Physics & Astronomy
  • Tammy Dugas, PhD, Prof and Head, Comparative Biomedical Sciences
  • Brant Faircloth, PhD, Professor, Biological Sciences
  • Anne Grove, PhD, Molecular Biology, Professor, Biological Sciences
  • Kevin Hoffseth, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Jangwook P. Jung, PhD, Asst Prof, Biological Engineering
  • Yongchan Kwon, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biological & Agricultural Engineering
  • Kenneth L Matthews, PhD, Associate Professor, Medical Physics
  • Todd Monroe, PhD, Professor, Biological & Agricultural Engineering 
  • Wayne D Newhauser, PhD, Professor, Medical Physics
  • Bruno Rego, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biological & Agricultural Engineering
  • Cristina Sabliov, BS, MS, PhD, Professor, Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Maria da Graca H. Vicente, PhD, Professor & MARC Director, Chemistry
  • Zakiya S Wilson-Kennedy, PhD, Associate Professor, Chemistry


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