Nearly 75 Medical Students to Participate in Groundbreaking National Diversity in Clinical Trials Research Program

RICHMOND, VA – The Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program (Winn Awards) today announced that 72 medical students who are underrepresented in medicine and/or from disadvantaged backgrounds have been selected for the third cohort of the Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials: Clinical Investigator Pathway Program (Winn CIPP). With an aim of creating career pathways into clinical research, this unique program trains medical students in a six-week summer externship to provide intensive hands-on clinical research experience, networking, and mentorship.

Winn CIPP aims to support and empower promising medical students by allowing time to work alongside expert clinicians and researchers in community health settings where they learn how to reach underserved patients at greater risk for poorer health outcomes. Historically nearly 80% of clinical trial participants are white, according to the Food and Drug Administration, which does not accurately represent the country’s demographics. Improving recruitment of diverse patients in clinical trials helps ensure trials are more reflective of the real-world population and aligned with the epidemiology of the disease studied. Throughout the intensive summer service-learning program, Winn CIPP students engage in research projects, attend educational symposia, and network with professionals in the field to understand how to better serve diverse populations with the goal of creating greater equity in care.

“Providing every patient with the care they deserve starts with nurturing the next generation of diverse medical leaders,” said Robert A. Winn, MD, Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center Director, and lead scientific advisor for the Winn Awards. “We are thrilled to welcome this next cohort of students, and we know they will leave the Winn CIPP summer program equipped to make a difference in their communities and shape a more equitable future across the country for ALL people.”

Nearly 80% of the new Winn CIPP cohort identify as Black/African American or Hispanic/Latino, more than half of the students are first-generation U.S. college graduates, and more than half of the students identify as women. Students in the third cohort represent 43 medical schools across the U.S., and will be placed at 16 research institutions. They will be provided with valuable practical skills including understanding the science of outreach and community engagement.

“Improving diversity in clinical research is a core pillar of advancing health equity in the United States and around the world,” said Catharine Grimes, President of the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation. “Research too often leaves behind the communities who disproportionately face the highest rates of serious diseases and would benefit from new medical breakthroughs. This program creates a path for future medical leaders from diverse backgrounds to build a world where everyone has access to quality healthcare, no matter who they are or where they live.”

The impact of the Winn CIPP extends far beyond the six-week externship, as students forge meaningful connections and develop a deeper understanding of the intersection between medicine, research, and community engagement for improving patient outcomes.

About the Winn Awards

Established in 2020 by the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, the Winn Awards’ vision is to increase diversity in clinical trials to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes in all communities and populations across the nation. The Winn Award Program comprises four awards to help train and support the next generation of clinical trialists. These include: the Career Development Award (Winn CDA), two Clinical Investigator Leadership Awards focused on oncology and cardiovascular disease (Winn CILA), and the Clinical Investigator Pathway Program (Winn CIPP). Since its inception, Gilead Sciences; Amgen; VCU Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center; American Association for Cancer Research (AACR); Conquer Cancer, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Foundation; and American Heart Association have joined the effort to advance the Winn Awards’ goals and impact.

About the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation

The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (BMS Foundation) aims to advance health equity for underserved communities. The BMS Foundation embraces innovative approaches that have the potential to reshape the health care system, forging alliances with government, nonprofit, academic and private sectors to ignite new possibilities in achieving health equity. In its therapeutic areas of focus, and in cross-cutting disciplines like diversity in clinical trials, the BMS Foundation is challenging norms to create more equitable and sustainable systems of healthcare delivery. For more information, visit Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (

About Gilead Sciences Inc.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis and cancer. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.

Last Updated: May 31, 2024 / Categories: In the News, News & Updates, Press Releases /