Health disparities continue to exist in our society. While the problem is multi-faceted and multi-factorial, lack of representation of the underserved groups in the health force is a critical deficiency, and one that can be addressed by research education programs. Experiential learning by active engagement in research is the best way to nurture the next generation of scientists and health care professionals. Therefore, this proposal focuses on recruitment and comprehensive mentored research education training of individuals from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups in the framework of a summer research program on the campus of Michigan State University. Six undergraduate and two graduate-professional students will be recruited to participate in the program. The students will receive close mentoring by faculty and participate in research focused on mechanisms of hypertension or airway biology and diseases. These research areas are prime examples where health disparities exist across various groups underrepresented in the biomedical enterprise. In addition, these diseases are a major concern both locally in Michigan and across the nation. Training faculty have been carefully selected and have been chosen on their mentoring record and ability to serve as excellent role models for the students. A comprehensive research education program has been designed to include seminars on specific research topics, as well as on health disparities in general. Workshops have been included to assist with the preparation of the students for pursuing further graduate and medical education. The students will have multiple opportunities to present their work and increase their communication skills. A supportive and intensive training environment will provide the students an excellent foundation to build on as they consider their career choices. The students will be tracked, and the program will be rigorously evaluated and modified as necessary to improve outcome. The overall goal of the program is to increase the number of qualified individuals from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups entering research careers in areas relevant to cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders.

Public Health Relevance

Health disparities are population-specific differences in the presence of disease, health outcomes, or access to health and are a significant concern in our society. Lack of representation of underserved groups in the health force has been identified as a critical gap by both government and health professionals as inclusive research teams have broader perspectives in setting research agendas, recruiting subjects into clinical research studies, and working more effectively to deliver health care and reduce health disparities. This proposal seeks to address this gap by recruiting, training, and actively engaging underrepresented groups in experiential learning in fields of significant public health concern: hypertension and lung disease. (End of Abstract)

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHL1)
Program Officer
Scott, Jane
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Michigan State University
Schools of Veterinary Medicine
East Lansing
United States
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Lopez, Michelle; Kopec, Anna K; Joshi, Nikita et al. (2014) Fas-induced apoptosis increases hepatocyte tissue factor procoagulant activity in vitro and in vivo. Toxicol Sci 141:453-64