Health and disease are not strictly biological phenomena. Health research must be developed in a manner that is culturally appropriate and relevant in order to address public health concerns in economically disadvantaged communities'arid communities where health disparities persist. To this end, there is a need to expand research efforts and scientific training of individuals from groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences;and to fill the professional and intellectual void brought on by their relative under representation in research careers. University of Washington (UW) faculty members and their partners have demonstrated commitment and success in working to fill these voids. Since the inception of the UW MIRT program in 1994 (renamed UW MHIRT in 2005), 153 students (113 undergraduate and 40 graduate students) from over 30 US Universities have received research training while working on collaborative research projects with investigators in countries including Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, the Republic of Georgia, Vietnam, and Thailand. All trainees (1995-2007 fellows) earned degrees that they were working towards at the time of fellowship. To date, UW-MIRT trainees have gone on to earn 20 MD, 7 PhD, and 41 Master's degrees, respectively. Trainees currently in advanced degree programs are as follows: 27 MD, 10 PhD, and 14 Master's. We are proud to report that in the relatively short 14-year span of the UW MHIRT Program, 8 of our trainees are themselves now faculty members in US academic-research institutions. UW MHIRT trainees have presented some 125 papers at national/international conferences;and they have published 56 papers in peer-reviewed research journals. The primary aim of this new MHIRT application is to continue to encourage students underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences to pursue research and public health leadership careers.
We aim to select 8 undergraduate and 2 graduate/professional degree students into the program annually. We are here proposing continue providing exciting, high-quality research training opportunities for fellows at well-established foreign research training sites in Ethiopia, Chile, Peru, the Republic of Georgia, and Thailand. Over 45 faculty members in biomedical and behavioral sciences are available to serve as mentors. We will continue to develop innovative and relevant collaborative research and research training activities with institutions in developing countries. We will continue to continue to train students from health disparities populations. We also expect to continue to share our talents and resources with collaborators in these countries who share in the task of training our fellows. By so doing, UW MHIRT faculty and fellows contribute to addressing global health disparities.
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