This is a request for renewal of a previously funded R25 proposal to address issues of diversity in training of researchers in Neuro-AIDS and to train non-minority researchers in issues related to neuro-AIDS in minority populations. This started as a collaboration between Johns Hopkins University, University of Puerto Rico and University of Hawaii. Each of these institutions of their geographical location has a unique minority population. In the two and a half years since this grant was funded, we have exceeded all its original goals. We created a three part training program. A didactic session of 12 weeks, with another 6 career building lectures was taken by 88 researchers, 81% of whom are continuing a career in Neuro-AIDS. These lectures are state of the art with web-based design and strong participation from the trainees. They also include a journal club format to enhance discussion. Each of these lectures, address issues of diversity where relevant. The second part consists of research training with identification of appropriate mentors and projects. Several of the mentees have travelled to Baltimore to help establish collaborations and acquire research skills. The third part is the awarding of the pilot grants on a competitive basis to select individuals. These pilot grants have now been awarded twice to researchers from minority backgrounds. While too early to determine their long-term success, most have already generated data for abstracts and have generated preliminary data for NIH grant submission. Together the trainees that have published 56 manuscripts. Of the 59 trainees enrolled in years 1 and 2, nine received NIH grants. We have a detailed evaluation process of all aspects of the course and a strong outreach program to attract new researchers into the field. The demand for our course and participation in the research program has far exceeded our original expectations. Researchers in several institutions around the country expressed an interest. We now propose to expand the scope of this to meet these demands, although the major focus will continue to be on the three institutions mentioned above. We will also work with NIMH to help establish collaborations with the other R25 programs funded by them.
While the HIV epidemic has disproportionately affected minority populations in the US, very few minority researchers are engaged in neuro-AIDS research. The major goal of the proposal is to diversity the workforce and address research questions that specifically affect these populations and have not received adequate attention.
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