Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute will recruit four minority graduate student interns over three years with a $100,000 grant from Key Bank's charitable foundation.
The program aims to attract students in molecular biology to the area while increasing diversity at the research institute.
"With spots here for interns, we can bring these young people into the community," said Marie Hare, Key Bank vice president for community affairs.
The bank is helping finance the research institute's new 73,000-square-foot building in Buffalo's medical campus.
The grant pays for interns' first-year graduate school tuition and covers living expenses, Hauptman-Woodward spokeswoman Tava Shanchuk said.
The research institute will recruit the first of the interns starting in the fall semester of 2005, she said. They will work in the new research building, which is expected to be completed in February.
Hauptman-Woodward houses the University at Buffalo's Structural Biology Department. It performs research on disease at the molecular level. Current interns work on projects involving maladies such as SARS, Shanchuk said.
The internship program complements the institute's effort to double its staff in the new, larger facility.
"This next generation of scientists is vital to achieving new breakthroughs in a wide range of diseases, including breast cancer, kidney disease, SARS, AIDS, Alzheimer's, thyroid disorders and many others," Hauptman-Woodward CEO George T. DeTitta said in a statement.
Recruiting will target Key's minority partner universities including Hampton, Morehouse and Spellman universities, according to a statement. Hauptman-Woodward is also working with Buffalo-area groups to identify internship candidates, Shanchuk said.