The Mid-South Coalition for Minority Health International Research Training (the Coalition) was established in 2000 to provide international research training opportunities to qualified minority students underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research careers. This is a competing renewal application from Christian Brothers University (CBU) in Memphis, TN, the lead institution of the Coalition. The Mid-South Coalition includes faculty at CBU, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (SJCRH), and three other Memphis universities: LeMoyne-Owen College, a Historically Black College;Rhodes College, a private liberal arts college;and the University of Memphis, a state institution. Tennessee State University (TSU), a Historically Black University in Nashville, TN, also has a participating faculty member. The Coalition primarily recruits trainees from its member institutions and other schools in the Mid-South area, but also solicits applicants nationwide through the program's web site. Through academic programs in their home institutions, students acquire the basic skills needed to conduct research and become eligible to participate in a research project in Brazil or Uganda. Research addresses problems inherent to health care in minority and rural populations in the U.S. and in developing countries. Depending on their interests, students participate in clinical, qualitative, or laboratory research settings. Previously funded projects in Uganda have investigated the educational programs on malaria transmission, access to health care and psychosocial treatment for children affected by the war in Northern Uganda. Projects in Brazil have included research on anxiety disorders, visual function, environmental pollution/and pediatric screening for adrenocarcinoma. The program's primary mission is to provide minority students with an opportunity to participate in international research that potentially impacts the health care of underserved populations in those countries, with an application to health care in the U.S. This program enhances the educational experience of and expands the perceived career options for minority students. This program also encourages dissemination of acquired research data at national meetings, and fosters continuation in graduate programs. The students are provided with specialized training that allows them to be competitive in today's global community.
This program has a direct impact on the health of individuals through: education on malaria, data that assisted the formation of a clinic in Uganda, expansion of health care for adolescents in Mae Sot, Thailand, giving children in Northern Uganda hope through art, providing health care linked with carnivore conservation in Brazil and assisting in screening and thereby potentially curing adrenocarcinoma in newborns in Curitiba.
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