The long-range goal of activities at Meharry supported by NIMHD Endowment Program for Increasing Research and Resources Capacity is to develop a research capacity and infrastructure supportive of basic, translational, clinical and community-based research focused on eliminating health disparities. One of the acknowledged gaps in the nation's ability make significant inroads toward eliminated minority health disparities is the absence of a critical mass of clinician (physician and dental) scientists. Current trends in NIH funding suggest that scientists most likely to be recruited and retained in clinical research and subsequently obtain NIH funding are dual degree (M.D. /Ph.D. or D.D.S. /Ph.D.) recipients. Therefore the objective of the current application to endow highly integrated initiatives that will positively impact the above national priorities by 1) diversifying the future manpower in science; 2) increasing the number of physician- or dental-scientists;and 3) improving the written and oral communications skills of trainees (pre- and post-doctoral), particularly M.D./Ph.D. and D.D.S/Ph.D. students, and faculty investigators. It is widely known that communications skills in reading, writing and speaking clearly are crucial to scientific We plan to accomplish the goals of this application by pursuing the following two specific aims: 1. To expand and strengthen M.D./Ph.D. training and initiate a D.D.S./Ph.D. program at MMC;and 2. To develop an Office for Enhancing Scientific Communicating. This project will be a college-wide collaboration among the MMC School of Dentistry, the School of Graduate Studies and Research, the School of Medicine and the Office for Research. MMC is uniquely poised to execute this project given its long and successful history in training minority dentists, physicians and biomedical scientist MMC is a designated health professional School under the category of Certain Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
This project will establish an innovative model for dual degree (M.D./Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D.) training of underrepresented minorities. It is predicted that such individuals will make a significant contribution to translational and clinical research in the futue and positively impact the nationwide priority of eliminating health disparities.
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