As the principal U.S. institution of higher education engaged in biomedical and bio-behavioral research within the Pacific basin, the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) seeks continued support from the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Program of the National Institutes of Health, to further develop research excellence in biomedicine by establishing an interdisciplinary network aimed at linking basic sciences, clinical medicine and translational research discoveries, with the goal of Attain Lasting Optimal Health for All (ALOHA), and with specific emphasis on addressing health disparities in underserved minority populations. Designated the Bioscience Research Infrastructure Development for Grant Enhancement and Success (BRIDGES), the UHM RCMI Program for the 2012-2017 cycle will embrace the spirit and tenets of the NIH Roadmap by creating interdisciplinary collaborative research networks employing emerging technologies for basic, clinical and translational sciences. Specifically, the research activities focusing on Collaborations and Partnerships and Professional Development, and the infrastructure cores in proteomics, magnetic resonance imaging, electrophysiology and behavior, microscopy, histopathology, human tissue biorepositories, bioinformatics, biostatistics and research ethics will rely heavily on interdisciplinary collaborations and intellectual exchange between basic scientists and clinicians, applying knowledge of human biology, physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology and fundamental principles of physics and chemistry, to develop novel and improved disease-specific diagnostic tests, therapeutic interventions and preventive strategies for health disparities of regional and national importance. These activities are designed to closely complement the basic science, clinical and patient-oriented activities of the RCMI Clinical Translational Research Center, (RCTR RMATRIX), the Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research (CNPHDR), the Hawaii Statewide Research and Education Partnership (INBRE HSREP), and the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE). The RCMI BRIDGES Program will better position UHM to participate fully in the RCMI Translational Research Network and to ultimately secure a Clinical and Translational Sciences Award. Strong leadership has been identified for each of the Activities and Cores. Finally, complementary technical cores are being developed and expanded to achieve greater success in competing for mainstream extramural NIH funding for research and training.
The overall objectives of the RCMI Program at UHM are to create and strengthen expertise, education, training and infrastructure for biomedical and behavioral research that promises to improve the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, especially those associated with health disparities in minority populations in Hawaii.
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