MISSISSIPPI CENTER OF EXCELLENCE IN PERINATAL RESEARCH ADMINISTRATIVE, MENTORING AND EDUCATION CORE A SUMMARY The major goal of the Mississippi Center of Excellence in Perinatal Research (CEPR) is to develop an innovative, independent and sustainable center of excellence in perinatal research and treatment spanning the spectrum from adverse pregnancy to subsequent outcomes in offspring. More specifically, perinatal research encompasses the study of disease states that may occur during gestation and early post-natal development that result in long term consequences in the mother and offspring across their lifespan. Studies will focus on the integrative relationships and health disparities in adverse pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes and developmental programming of cardiovascular, renal, metabolic and behavioral diseases. This is an important area for research especially in light of the increasing evidence of long term health consequences brought about by adverse fetal environment and subsequent low birth weight during pregnancy both for the mother and offspring. An adverse perinatal environment is thought to account at least in part for the development of obesity, cardiovascular, renal, and behavioral diseases later in life for the offspring, and predispose the mothers for increased risk of these diseases with aging. Mississippi has one of the highest rates of preeclampsia, obesity, cardiovascular, renal and metabolic diseases and hypertension in the United States, leading to disproportionate levels of morbidity and mortality in our population. The incidence of preeclampsia is 10% in Mississippi, compared to 5% in the US. The prevalence of children with low birth weight in Mississippi is 12% in Caucasian children and 18% in African American children, compared to 5-8% in the other states. Studies that will provide novel insight into mechanisms responsible for the high rates of these diseases in Mississippi will require a paradigm shift in research that incorporates multidisciplinary integrated approaches, combining the efforts of basic, clinical and population scientists. A major goal of this proposal is to develop a research Center that will provide infrastructure and capacity for a multidisciplinary, diverse group of basic, clinical and population scientists working on the common synergistic theme of perinatal diseases and health disparities and to facilitate their collaborations.
The specific aims of the Administrative, Mentoring and Education Core A include the following: 1. To provide overall leadership for development of infrastructure, mentoring programs and research core facilities that foster excellence in perinatal research spanning the spectrum from adverse pregnancy to subsequent outcomes in offspring and will lead to development of an innovative, internationally recognized Center of Excellence. 2. To develop, implement and monitor a Mentoring and Education Program that facilitates development of junior faculty investigators into independent, extramurally (NIH) funded researchers. 3. To develop and implement a Pipeline Grants Program for promising new investigators, with emphasis on recruiting and mentoring under-represented minority investigators. 4. To develop and implement educational programs that will facilitate collaborations and interactions among investigators from multiple disciplines in perinatal research at UMMC. 5. To develop and implement programs for recruiting, training, and mentoring a diverse group of undergraduate students and postdoctoral trainees to provide experience in mentoring for the junior investigators and so that the trainees become the next generation of perinatal researchers. 6. To implement formative and summative evaluation strategies for overall progress and effectiveness of the CEPR junior investigators, programs, and cores. 7. To provide high-level program administrative support and fiscal oversight of all research projects and cores. 8. To organize networking meetings and seminars related to the Center as well as meetings of the Executive Committee, Internal and External Advisory Committees. 9.To ensure that all Center programs, initiatives, policies and reporting mechanisms to UMMC and NIGMS are optimally developed, implemented, and administered within federal granting agency policies and deadlines.
MISSISSIPPI CENTER OF EXCELLENCE IN PERINATAL RESEARCH ADMINISTRATIVE, MENTORING AND EDUCATION CORE A Narrative The major goal of the Mississippi Center of Excellence in Perinatal Research (CEPR) is to develop an innovative, independent and sustainable center of excellence in perinatal research and treatment spanning the spectrum from adverse pregnancy to subsequent outcomes in offspring. Core A will provide administration and oversight of junior investigators and their research projects with the aim to promote their development into independent investigators with NIH funding. Each junior investigator will have two mentors, a basic science mentor and a clinical science/population science mentor. This Core will also administer the Pipeline Grant program that will provide funds for other junior investigators to obtain preliminary data to submit an extramural grant. The Education portion of this Core will provide both education in various aspects of research and provide a process of formative and summative evaluations of the junior investigators in the program.
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