Racial and ethnic minorities in the United States experience an alarming disproportionate burden of disease, especially in the southern region of the country, where Mississippi ranks lowest on many health indicators, the "Most Obese State," and. the "No. 1 Unhealthy State." Therefore, Jackson State University proposes to build an Exploratory Center of Excellence to address and understand health disparities of obesity in collaboration with Its partners, the University of Alabama, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Mississippi. The Center will focus on understanding minority health disparities through intensive, multidisciplinary research projects and approaches designed to accelerate the translation of research findings into improvements in patient care, community health, and education and training of current and future health disparity researchers and practitioners. The overarching objective will be to reduce health disparities in obesity and to accelerate the translation of research findings to improve health outcomes and quality of life for at-risk populations, adult ethnic minorities who reside In Mississippi. The Specified Aims are to: 1) develop and maintain an administrative and institutional infrastructure to support the project as a whole;2) advance scientific understanding of the interrelationship between abdominal obesity and genetics;3) carry out translational research that will contribute to knowledge and eliminate health disparities;4) provide exemplary research training and education activities to students and junior faculty from health disparity populations to increase the numbers of well trained researchers from minority and health disparity populations;and. 5) to engage minority and health disparity communities in effective and sustainable partnerships and activities for improving the health of their communities, increasing the numbers of individuals from minority and health disparity populations engaged in research activities for increasing health literacy and knowledge of health disparities. Most significantly, the Center will enhance the quality and quantity of research on minority health and health disparities, provide high quality research career development training, and strengthen community ties.
; This project has much public health relevance in that it will utilize multi-transdisciplinary research approaches and strategies to implement multi-level individual, population-based, and policy interventions to address health disparities, especially, as related to obesity, becoming a model in understanding and improving the health of minorities and underserved populations in Mississippi.
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