Xavier University of Louisiana, a historically black college or university (HBCU) just received a $19.6 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support the “thriving” biomedical programs Xavier students are offered, according to the University’s website.

With this grant–part of a $240 million investment–University officials says it can now triple the amount of its African Americans students continuing their education to receive Ph.D’s in life sciences.

“Xavier is already number one in the nation as the primary undergraduate source of African American Ph.D’s in the sciences,” President of Xavier University Dr. Norman Francis said. “Yet with this grant, we believe we can triple the number of African American life science Ph. D’s nationally by 10%. We are proud that NIH has named us one of the institutions that it believes can uniquely contribute to this important goal.”

Xavier says it will establish a national consortium to train, mentor and encourage students from under-served and under-resourced groups to enter into and stay in research careers.

Xavier currently ranks sixth overall on a per capita basis from Health and Human Services, and first among the 107 HBCUs (including Simmons College in Kentucky).


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