Border Biomedical Research Center (BBRC). The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), in collaboration with regional academic, governmental and private groups, has as a goal, to sustain and grow extant BBRC infrastructure and programs to enable high quality research on health disparities prevalent on the U.S. Mexico border. This goal will be obtained through achievement of four specific objectives. These are to: (1) Focus on augmenting three research areas of strength to better understand causes and mechanisms. These "clusters" are (a) infectious diseases and immunity, (b) cancer and diseases caused by environmental toxicants, and (c) distinct neuro-modulation disorders. Pursuits will be with greater emphasis on epidemiology and collaborations with clinical and public health specialists. (2) Strengthen research infrastructure to enhance capabilities of growing numbers of investigators through (a) enhancement of multi-user core facilities for research in molecular and cell biology and consultation in biostatistics and bioinformatics, (b) creation of a new initiative, the Community Engagement Core, (c) recruitment of new faculty members to research border health issues, (d) development, professionally, of BBRC investigators, (e) implementation of a pilot grant program emphasizing inter-disciplinary research, and (f) establishment of an institution-wide seminar and a biennial international symposium that underscore through practice BBRC's heightened emphasis on community engagement, networking, collaboration and translational research. Included in infrastructure enhancement are physical plant components that support research, an administrative core to coordinate, manage and govern program components, and an evaluative component to assess progress in achieving program- and border health objectives. (3) Accentuate translation of BBRC research through greater emphasis in various BBRC activities, including teaching, of the interplay between basic and applied science and the importance of utility in laboratory discoveries. (4) Create, through collective BBRC activities, a nationally competitive research environment to support the doctoral program in Biological Sciences as a means to develop future researchers and amplify investigative manpower.
Achieving the RCMI-BBRC goal and objectives will help create a healthier Paso de Norte border region by spearheading, sustaining and leveraging biomedical research and practice, and increasing the work force to develop countermeasures to health problems concentrated in the area but of national consequence, and provide a highly competitive faculty and training setting at UTEP to prepare minority students for entry into the biomedical research mainstream of the nation.
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