In response to RFA-OD-09-006, The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) proposes a renewal of our successful BIRCWH Program to develop independent researchers in women's health. The Program includes 17 experienced senior investigators as Mentors from Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Health Professions, and Biomedical Sciences. Research focus areas reflect the strong interdisciplinary infrastructure at UTMB and include: Health Disparities, Adolescent Health, Infectious Disease, Reproduction, and Aging, especially as related to the health needs of underserved women. The Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women's Health provides forums for interdisciplinary endeavors and administers the Program. The Candidate Pool is fed by a multilevel pipeline including local departments, centers, and T32 programs, followed by applicants from UT System campuses designated as Hispanic Serving Institutions. Additional efforts to obtain diverse applicants extend to the national level through advertisements and solicitations made with leading Historically Black Colleges and Universities. During the 1(R)'cycle of funding, we trained 10 Scholars who received 12 awards from private and federal sponsors, including NIH. For our 2"^* cycle of funding, our Program will continue to use the mentored research experience as the core of Scholars'tailored career development plans. Multiple formal and informal venues provide ample opportunities for developing skills and collaborative interdisciplinary networks. Scholars may also obtain a MS or PhD in Clinical Science. In addition, we will add a Resource Laboratory for individual assistance with methods development and statistical guidance. Our proposed renewal is supported by a significant institutional commitment assured by the Executive Vice President &Provost. A renewal will further strengthen women's health research at UTMB and will ensure that more of our Scholars become independently supported investigators in the many areas of health that affect women over the lifespan.
The UTMB BIRCWH Program recruits, trains, and retains early career investigators from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds in a variety of disciplines related to women's health. The Program provides interdisciplinary mentored research experiences to promote the BIRCWH Scholars'involvement in investigations aimed at improving health care and health of women across the lifespan.
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