The goal of this proposal is to plan and implement a one-day conference to address research that focuses on the molecular bases of health disparities and its implications for Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR). The conference will highlight community-academic approaches to implement molecular research and how these approaches can be both appropriated and communicated within disparate communities. How community concerns are communicated to academics and what compromises or modifications in study design could be made. Methodologies that scientists can use to discuss research with communities and evidenced based practices for individuals and communities to be involved in molecular studies will be discussed during the conference. This overarching theme will be approached through the prism of CBPR, lessons learned, and whether a future could be envisioned when the benefits and burdens of research are owned and managed by the community in partnership with academia.
The specific aim i s to bring together regional, national, and international experts and community stakeholders to: 1. Learn new advances on research that focuses on the molecular bases of health disparities; 2. Discuss evidenced-based methodologies to engage academia and communities in CBPR that allows for the community appropriation of the benefits and burdens of research; 3. Evaluate methodologies that scientists can use to discuss molecular research with individuals and disparate communities; 4. Learn from evidenced-practices that facilitate individuals and disparate communities to be involved in molecular studies;The conference will be convened on Friday, October 11, 2013 by the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. Ultimately, our vision is that this scientific meeting will lead to the development of a strategy to strengthen a tri-state infrastructure to support CBPR within molecular research already funded, or to be funded in the future by the NIH. To that end, the conference will pay particular attention to current research being performed in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, the three states that together have the highest incidence of health disparities in the nation. Finally, although the conference has a regional focus, its format would be such that the knowledge and approaches learned would be translatable to other locales.
Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, together have the highest incidence and mortality rates attributable to homicide, accidents, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and HIV/AIDS compared to the rest of the United States (CDC, 2012) with combined mortality rates that are higher for black males and black females relative to their white counterparts. It has also been recognized that the cause of these disparities includes both biological and social determinants. A conference focusing on these determinants and community engagement through community based participatory research will provide an opportunity for developing a tri-state agenda that would enhance the sharing of both the benefits and the burdens of research as a public good.