Deborah Harmon Hines
Professor of Cell Biology
UMass Medical School
An exceptional leader and role model for more than 25 years, Deborah Harmon Hines, Ph.D., has been a driving force in developing a diverse biomedical research and healthcare workforce reflecting the Commonwealth's population. Believing that children from Worcester's underrepresented communities should gain the science and math literacy necessary to thrive as members of the workforce, particularly in the dynamic health, science, and biotechnology industries, Dr. Hines has led the charge to develop and manage several programs that have reached over 15,000 students every year since 1989. She has ensured the success of these programs by coupling her professional achievements in academe with a life-long commitment to championing the rights of minorities and women.
Dr. Hines writes the grants, hires the staff, and structures the programs that she has helped to develop. These programs include the High School Health Careers program, a five-week residential program; the Summer Enrichment Program, a four-week residential program; the NIH Summer Research Program; and the Worcester Pipeline Collaborative (WPC), which involves more than 6,000 K-12 students in Worcester public schools in a year-round curricular program. The program's purpose is to provide a seamless pipeline for kids to consider careers in all the health professions.
Dr. Hines' initiatives have born fruit by significantly making the healthcare workforce in Massachusetts more diverse. For instance, the NIH Summer Research Program, which has focused for 15 years on minority students, has produced 230 graduates. Out of those graduates, 30 have gone on to get Ph.D.'s, 30 have obtained M.D.'s, five have fulfilled their M.D.-Ph.D's, and 85 have been published in peer-reviewed publications. Additionally, of the approximately 100 students who graduate from the WPC annually, nearly half have entered or are pursuing further education in the fields of health sciences or biomedical research.
"My biggest contribution is making the whole thing seamless," Dr. Hines says. "I come from one of those underrepresented groups. I want to make sure the health professions reflect the population. All of us will be better served if that happens."
In addition to her professional commitments, Dr. Hines is actively involved in the community and has been recognized by the National Conference for Community and Justice for her exemplary contributions to the greater Worcester area.
Dr. Hines is a professor of cell biology at UMass Medical School. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee.