The TU Center for Biomedical Research (CBR) is designed to strengthen the University's research infrastructure particularly in the areas of biomedical and molecular sciences as well as in bioinformatics and computational biology. Our goals are to: 1) Continue to strengthen the newly established PhD program in Integrative Biosciences (IBS) through acquisition of state-of-the-art molecular biology instrumentation and bioinformatics and computer modeling resources;2) to promote health disparity studies in the underserved rural communities of the black belt counties (BBC) of Alabama.
The specific aims are: A) To strengthen and provide oversight for infrastructure development composed of Core 1: State-of-the-art Molecular Biology Shareable Laboratory Resources, Core 2;Bioinformatics and Computational Modeling Resources. B) To support IBS PhD students, and provide the infrastructure needed to create a first rate biomedical research environment. C) Based on our current areas of scientific expertise, to initiate four pilot research projects to study prostate cancer, HIV/AIDS and lupus by a team of about 12 junior and senior scientists. D) To develop and implement a Mentoring/Evaluation Program for junior faculty, staff and students led and managed by the PD, and the Advisory Committees, E) To implement an Evaluation Program to assess the productivity and accountability of the CBR over a period of five years by using both formative and summative outcomes. The proposed research relies upon innovative methods to include in vitro (pilot #1, #2), in-vivo (pilot #2, #4) and computational dynamic modeling (pilot #3). The outcome is to increase the number of R01 or comparable research grant submissions by at least 50% from the current level of submissions and increasing publications in peer reviewed journals by at least 25% with an approved enforceable protocol that focuses on junior faculty development and productivity. The availability of advanced research equipment, coupled with the new knowledge generated via TU PhD students, scientists and collaborators will contribute to the reduction of selected health disparities in the BBC of Alabama.
Goal 2 of Healthy People 2010 states eliminating health disparities as a high priority agenda. Since our current expertise is in cancer, HIV/AIDS and lupus, our proposed project is focused upon these areas. Being a part of the black belt counties of Alabama where health disparities are of major concern, TU has a public health obligation and an opportunity for research and training directed at minimizing these disparities.
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