African Americans share a disproportionate burden of the morbidity and mortality associated with conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and others. Yet, they constitute a disproportionate 5 percent of biomedical and behavioral researchers within the US. There is, therefore, a need for greater involvement of African Americans in health disparities research. The establishment of the Center for Cardiovascular Diseases (CCD) at Texas Southern University (TSU) was to enhance biomedical research capability of TSU and ultimately address health and other problems that disproportionately affect urban minorities. The CCD initiated basic research activities targeted at cardiovascular diseases that are prominent among African Americans through activities that include but not limited to seminars, journal clubs, laboratory training of undergraduate and graduate students, and advanced training for postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty. These activities have met the goals of enhancing biomedical research capacity building at TSU. However, a clinical/public health research component is missing. The primary goal of this proposal, therefore, is to build upon the existing programs and resources available in TSU's Center for Cardiovascular Diseases by promoting resources for biomedical research training capacity in health disparities research.
The specific aims of this proposal are to: 1. Support the retention of a recently hired junior-level faculty investigator for behavioral research. 2. Establish a new Center for Health Disparities Research and support the recruitment of additional investigators in health disparities research.
Minorities continue to be underrepresented in biomedical research and careers. Initiation of a community or public health component in the existing Center for Cardiovascular Diseases leading to the establishment of Center for Health Disparities Research in Cardiovascular Diseases and HIV will enhance and strengthen the research capabilities and resources in biomedical research at Texas Southern University.