The Universidad del Central Caribe (UCC) and the UCC School of Medicine in Bayamon, Puerto Rico seeks continued support for the Puerto Rico Drug Abuse Research Development Program (PRDARP NIDA Grant No.5 R24 DA13335) previously funded for the years 2000-2005. This competing application seeks to continue the enhancement of the drug use research infrastructure at the UCC School of Medicine and to train six new researchers and two students to enter the drug abuse and HIV/AIDS research community. Based on previous findings by our Center of Addiction Studies and PRDARP researchers, this new application will be guided by the Stressors-Stress-Coping model. Three projects are proposed by our new investigators, one relating to the epidemiology of stress and its mediators, one examining the dual consequences of drug use and stress in the immune system, and the third focusing on coping with stress. All are enclosed as part of the application. The proposed training curriculum comprises multiple educational strategies including individual mentoring by senior mentors and consultants, yearly workshops related to HIV/AIDS stress and depression, research methodology, and the theory of stress.
Our aim i s to train junior researchers and students to continue searching for ways to better understand the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Puerto Rico so as to be able to design more effective interventions that will halt the island's self-sustaining epidemic.
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