The primary objective of the proposed research education program is to provide annual short- term (10-12 weeks) research education experiences for 10 highly motivated minority students in order to expose them to biomedical research in the area of cardiovascular function and disease. The long- range goal is to increase the number of minority health professionals in this area through interest generated by exposure to a broad spectrum of research and educational activities. The program builds upon MUSC's established strength in cardiovascular research, its strong commitment to providing meaningful research training experiences for students at all levels, and its track record of introducing students from underrepresented groups to biomedical research. The Program Faculty is a group of 33 productive, collaborative, independently funded scientists with very strong training records whose expertise and interests are highly relevant to the cardiovascular sciences including multiple aspects of cell communication and molecular structure and their dysfunction in cardiac morphogenesis, hypertension, vascular disease and cardiac hypertrophy and failure. They also include faculty with interest in diseases and disorders that exhibit significantly higher rates of incidence, morbidity, and mortality among African American residents of South Carolina than among other population groups, or even African Americans in other parts of the country. In addition to the mentored research project and instruction in the ethical conduct of research, students will participate in a Cardiovascular Seminar Series and a course in Translating Research Into Practice. Senior research electives and the Month in the GCRC allow students to gain additional research experience and exposure to patient-oriented research during their advanced years in medical school. The program benefits from a stable administrative structure and exceptionally strong leadership committed to diversity. A comprehensive evaluation plan that measures the degree to which the program is achieving its objectives is also in place.
STATEMENT A diverse medical research workforce is critical in order to link scientific advancements with quality service and delivery in increasingly diverse communities. Furthermore, workforce needs in the treatment of cardiovascular disease continue to increase despite changes implemented in the past decade to expand specialty and subspecialty cardiovascular training programs. The purpose of the proposed research education program is to engage minority medical students in basic, clinical and translational research in order to stimulate their interest in cardiovascular research.