NIGMS Minority Program Participant Inaugurated University President

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Dr. LaVerne Ragster, a former participant in the National Institute of General Medical Sciences' Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) program, was inaugurated as president of the University of the Virgin Islands on Sunday, March 16, 2003.

Ragster is the first MBRS program participant to become a university president. She participated in the program as a graduate student at San Diego State University, where she earned a master's degree in biology in 1975. (She had previously earned a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from the University of Miami in 1973.) After completing a Ph.D. in biology at the University of California, San Diego in 1980, she joined the faculty at UVI, where she also directed the university's first MBRS grant.

The MBRS program seeks to increase the number of underrepresented minorities performing biomedical research. For more information on the program, see /minorit​y/pages/mbrs.aspx. NIGMS is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For more on UVI's inauguration activities, see