The Developmental Core will support the overall mission of the PMHARC by expanding the capacity and opportunity to conduct research on mental illness among HIV infected individuals. The services of the Core are designed to develop interest and expertise among early career investigators and transitional investigators who have not yet conducted research on mental illness and HIV. This will be accomplished via skills training, structured mentoring and support for four pilot projects to be initiated in each year of Center funding. In all of the Core's services, priority will be given to early career investigators and investigators from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. The Developmental Core will provide monthly training seminars focused on research and grant writing skills development and, during the first year, on making the research community at Penn and CHOP aware of the services offered by the Center's four other shared resource Cores. The Core will also serve as a clearinghouse for related seminars and trainings being offered both on and off campus. A structured mentoring program implemented by the Developmental Core will focus on linking Junior and transitional investigators with established investigators in specific areas of mental health and AIDS research. The Core will provide guidance and training materials to assist mentors in their efforts to provide meaningful research and career development support to mentees. The pilot projects program for the Center will be administered by the Developmental Core. A rigorous review process will be implemented in order to select pilot projects that are scientifically sound, feasible and promote the overall mission of the Center. Each application will be assigned two internal and one external reviewer and a scoring system modeled after that used in NIH grant reviews will be used to assess scientific merit and programmatic relevance. All investigators selected for pilot funding will be required to have a designated mentor. The Core will maintain a service delivery database that will be used to evaluate success in delivering training, providing mentoring and reviewing and implementing pilot projects. We will also carefully track publications, grant applications, presentations and new collaborations that emerge from these Core services.

Public Health Relevance

The training, mentoring, and pilot funding delivered and managed by Core B will support the overall mission of the Center by expanding the number and capacity of investigators to conduct innovative and important mental health and AIDS research. By supporting promising pilot research the Core will initiate research programs that have real potential to improve the mental health and quality of life of HIV positive individuals.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-M)
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University of Pennsylvania
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Pumar, Margo; Opondo, Philip; Ayugi, James et al. (2014) Developing a medical school psychiatry training program in Botswana: overcoming obstacles with innovation. Acad Med 89:S111-2
Blank, Michael B; Hennessy, Michael; Eisenberg, Marlene M (2014) Increasing quality of life and reducing HIV burden: the PATH+ intervention. AIDS Behav 18:716-25
Blank, Michael B; Himelhoch, Seth S; Balaji, Alexandra B et al. (2014) A multisite study of the prevalence of HIV with rapid testing in mental health settings. Am J Public Health 104:2377-84
Blank, Michael B; Himelhoch, Seth; Walkup, James et al. (2013) Treatment considerations for HIV-infected individuals with severe mental illness. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep 10:371-9