The aims of the NCMHD-RIMI program are to reduce health disparities by providing resources to institutions that prepare significant number of minority students and faculty in biomedical sciences. Based on these aims, Virginia State University (VSU) proposes a RIMI program that is aimed to augment and strengthen the infrastructure and capacity of VSU to conduct basic biomedical research which will address and ultimately eliminate health disparities. The program will develop infrastructure to enhance research at VSU, infuse innovative educational experiences to students and faculty, expose faculty and students to cutting-edge biomedical research, and through collaborations enhance minority faculty/student participation in biomedical research. VSU-RIMI program objectives are: I) to build research capacity for biomedical research at VSU, ii) to promote the participation of faculty and students in biomedical and behavioral research, and iii) to enhance academic programs in biomedical sciences and health disparities. VSU-RIMI program proposes four major cores: administrative core, shared resources/infrastructure core, faculty developmental research core, and academic enhancement core. These four cores with the proposed specific aims consist of all major aims which are goals of NCMHD-RIMI program. Within the faculty research core, we propose three research projects which deal with health disparities and human health issues. These subprojects are: 1) Comparative Genomics Strategies for Finding Susceptibility Components for Inherited Human Disease-Diabetes, 2) Study of interaction between presenilin mutations and amyloid protein in development of Alzheimer's disease, and 3) A Comparative and Functional Genomic Approach to Host Susceptibility or Resistance and Immune Responses to Internal Parasite Infections. Our proposed RIMI program will include a team of personnel that will be headed by project director, Dr. Brown, a program coordinator, a research associate and three faculty members serving as co-PIs. Management team will be advised by an institutional advisory committee and overall RIMI program will have an oversight of an external advisory committee. The program includes University of Virginia, Louisiana State University, Utah State University, and College of William and Mary as collaborating institutions which are research intensive institutions. The RIMI program will be evaluated annually by an external consultant and proposed and actual accomplishments will be evaluated and a report will be provided to the external advisory committee and the RIMI program director. With the proposed well-planned RIMI program, within the five year of the project period, we anticipate to double the research productivity which could be measured in the number of publications, funded proposals, number of students entering graduate school and total number of faculty participating in biomedical research.
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