The long term objective of the UCSC-MHIRT Research Program is to actively engage underrepresented minority students in on-going, long term international, biomedically relevant research projects conducted in both the natural and laboratory environment in collaboration with students and faculty from the host country. With a long tradition of both graduate and undergraduate research training, UCSC-MHIRT offers challenging and unique biological research opportunities that combine rich and stimulating cultural experience with productive and creative scientific research career training. These experiences provide UCSC-MHIRT students with broader international scientific and educational perspectives, increased self-confidence and independence, plus substantial improvements in technical expertise. Our program has produced a satisfying increase in the number of underrepresented minority students choosing advanced scientific training and consequently the leadership of the next generation of biomedical scientists and academic faculty. The research provides a broad spectrum of exciting projects in five major foreign sites;Patagonia, New Zealand, Germany, Panama and Japan ranging from basic biomedical and epidemiological investigation to focused research on disease etiology included in the NCMHD mission statement. These include: 1) morbid obesity and related conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and renal insufficiency;2) early childhood developmental pathologies resulting from malnutrition or starvation;and 3) disease transfer from wild migratory species (e.g., marine mammals and birds) to humans and several other areas. The UCSC-MHIRT program will not only make direct scientific contributions to these vital studies but will do so while providing MHIRT students with exceptional scientific training in fields of immediate biomedical relevance. Recently, results obtained from our long term studies have provided important clinical insights into several severe human pathologies that disproportionately impact U.S. minority populations and emerging countries of the Pacific Rim.
The UCSC-MHIRT program is designed to provide highly quality research-training for underrepresented and minority students to foster their pursuit of advanced academic scientific training and professional careers in biomedical research. The program offers research opportunities with strong emphasis in basic biomedical science with emphasis on pathologies that disproportionately impact minority populations worldwide.
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