The dual-edged problem of racial/ethnic disparities in health and the under-representation of minority scientists are two of the most compelling challenges facing the field of biomedicine. Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) are under-utilized as part of the solution to these vexing problems. The core mission of the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is to expand the diversity of the nation's biomedical workforce by educating a high proportion of under-represented minority students and prepare them to be scientific leaders. MSM's social mission is dedicated to addressing health inequities by 'serving the underserved'. MSM is uniquely positioned as a MSI to utilize this PSO award mechanism to establish a NHLBI Research Center of Excellence that is preeminent in leading-edge discovery science, minority health research and training under-represented minority investigators to emerge as the next generation of scientific leaders. The long-term goals of the PSO Program are well aligned with MSM's mission and this has engendered the strong institutional commitment of the executive leadership. Our approach seeks to build strength upon strength by focusing the PSO program resources on our three major assets ~ our faculty, our research infrastructure and our future scientists. Accordingly, the three major objectives of this PSO program are;1) the retention and career development of 'new investigators'that have already been recited to the CVRI, 2) the ongoing enhancement of our shared-use resources, and 3) the further refinement of our research training environment for under-represented minority students. These objectives will be achieved by pursuing the following specific aims:
Aim I : To mentor and develop a critical mass of talented investigators that emerge as leaders of independent research programs and cross-disciplinary, collaborative research teams.
Aim II : To establish enabling technologies and a shared-use research infrastructure that supports leading- edge cardiovascular science.
Aim III : To expand the racial/ethnic diversity of the biomedical research community by sustaining a vibrant intellectual environment conducive to training and nurturing the development of minority students into leading investigators.
Aim I V: To develop innovative, cross-disciplinary research programs that integrate basic, translational, clinical and population science approaches to address racial/ethnic disparities in cardiovascular health.
Two of the most critical problems facing the biomedical research community are: 1) the problem of health disparities related to race/ethnicity and 2) the lack of minority scientiss. A key solution is to build research training capacity at minority-serving institutions that educatea large proportion of minority students and are focused on innovative translational research that enhances the health of minority communities.