After twenty eight years of support through the RCM! Program, the institution has greatly benefited from the improvement in;the number and quality of the peer-reviewed manuscripts elicited by the faculty, the number of scientific presentations at competitive forums at the national as well as international levels, and in the number of submitted and funded research and research training initiatives. In furthering with these efforts, the institution is submitting the present renewal application. Its main goal is to promote high quality translational research with a strong emphasis in health disparities. The present application consists of four Core activities;Administration, AIDS Research Infrastructure, Molecular Biology and Genomics, and the Behavioral Research and Integrated Neurosciences. The Administrative Core is intended to spearhead a series of initiatives designed to strengthen the institution as a robust and vibrant translational research center, and to further developing our research faculty into independent and competent biomedical researchers. These initiatives include the organization and inception of;a Research Pilot Project Program to sponsor innovative clinical and translational activities;professional development activities (seminar series, workshops, short courses, mentoring efforts, etc.;a faculty recruitment program, a mentoring program, and efforts to enhance research collaborations and partnerships between PSM and other RCMI as well as Non-RCMI Institutions;The proposed new RCMI Program at PSM will experience the benefits of a well- integrated and committed administrative structure. The proposed leadership for this new RCMI Program will use the multiple PIs option. Thus, Dr. Jose A. Torres-Ruiz, Director of the Ph.D. Program in the Biomedical Sciences, and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry, will serve as the Contact PI, whereas Dr. Richard Noel, Jr. will serve as the second PI. The working relationship of these two professionals is excellent. Both academic leaders are well respected among their peers and the top administrative officials at the School. Furthermore, the RCMI Program at the institution will receive the support of an Executive Program Manager, Ms. Claris A. Vega, MBA, an experienced and accomplished grants administrator. The RCMI Program will benefit from a very supportive institutional commitment.
The proposed RCMI Program at the Ponce School of Medicine constitutes a comprehensive effort designed to advance the agenda contemplated in our Institutional Strategic Plan for Research for the next five years. Along these lines, one of th major goals contained in this strategic plan is to develop the necessary research infrastructure at PSM in order for its investigators to significantly contribute to the elimination of health disparities in disadvantaged populations at the local as well as the national levels.
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