The purpose of the training grant program is to provide systematic multidisciplinary predoctoral and postdoctoral research training into the biobehavioral and psychosocial factors involved in the pathogenesis and treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD) as well as the prevention of such disease in high risk populations. Research training is also offered for study of neural, hormonal and immunological mechanisms that may link biobehavioral variables to cardiovascular pathology. The framework for this research is cardiovascular behavioral medicine, which involves the integration of population-based public health studies, clinical investigation and basic science. In the present iteration of our cardiovascular behavioral medicine training program, trainee research is based upon: (a) population-based studies such as the NHLBI multi-center Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL);clinical investigation in multiple NIH funded intervention studies to prevent cardiometabolic risk and CVD (e.g., smoking cessation;reduction of CVD risk in management of Type 2 diabetes);and (c) basic research as in our NIH funded projects studying social environment, hyperlipidemia, inflammation, oxidative stress and atherosclerosis in the Watanabe rabbit. Most of our training grant activities are coordinated within the University of Miami Behavioral Medicine Research Center (BMRC), which is a multi-disciplinary unit involving faculty from the departments of Epidemiology, Medicine, Neurological Surgery, Neurology, Pathology and Psychology. Most of the BMRC faculty have conducted research together for more than 20 years on NHLBI funded P01, R01, U01 and N01 projects. The NHLBI training grant program has been intimately associated with these projects;trainees have been involved in the design, conduct and publication in various aspects of this research as well as designing and carrying out separate studies derived from the parent projects. Trainees in the present application will consist of 5 predoctoral and 2 postdoctoral fellows who are expected to spend at least two years in the program. Although emphasis at both the pre- and post-doctoral level is upon research, available didactic training includes multiple courses in advanced statistics as well as epidemiology, behavioral medicine, mechanisms of disease, neuroscience and molecular biology. Trainees usually undergo rotations through our BMRC cores in Biochemistry and Metabolism, Cardiovascular Measurement, Data Management and Statistics and Pathology. All trainees receive individual mentoring and participate in research seminars, project meetings and BMRC/Training Grant meetings.
The research conducted by our trainees involves studying the biological, behavioral and social processes that influence cardiovascular disease as well as procedures that may prevent or amelioriate such disease in high risk populations. From a public health perspective our research is particularly important because it focuses upon poor people, health disparities and understudied groups including Spanish speaking individuals who are not fluent in English.
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