This application is submitted in response to PAR-09-011 Diversity-promoting Institutions Drug Abuse Research Program (DIDARP) requested by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). This proposed research program is timely since it focuses on two ofthe major health disparity issues in Hawaii, namely, methamphetamine abuse and HIV infection. Recent surveys indicate that Native Hawaiians or other Pacific islanders have the highest rate of methamphetamine use among persons aged 12 or older in the United States. Although HIV/AIDS infection rate is relatively low in Hawaii compared to other major metropolis, the rates are increasing among Hawaiians. This DIDARP will include two primary and one pilot research projects that will focus on mechanisms and factors that might enhance neurotoxicity associated with methamphetamine of HIV.
We aim to enhance the capacity for drug abuse research at UH by creating this small translational research team. This group will take advantage and build on the expertise of the few but outstanding existing clinical drug abuse and HIV researchers and basic scientists.
We aim to enable UH to develop a strong clinical and translational drug abuse research program. To complement these projects, we additionally propose training and career development activities that wil offer exciting opportunities for DIDARP investigators and others at UH through the Administrative and Training Core. The Faculty in the Core will provide guidance and mentorship for these junior faculty and graduate students, through infrastructure support, educational courses, seminars, and a dedicated DIDARP website, We have obtained institutional support for two additional graduate students for the program. We also have recruited 4 distinguished External Advisory Committee members with expertise related to the proposed research;each has enthusiastically agreed to provide their advice and letter of support for the development of this DIDARP at UH.
The current proposal attempts to strengthen drug abuse and HIV research capacity by developing translational research teams at the University of Hawaii, and to train junior investigators and students in drug abuse and HIV research.
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