The objective of Alcorn State University(ASU)-Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training project is to offer eight (six undergraduate and two graduate) ASU students the opportunity to train at international research sites: four trainees at Andhra University(AU) in Visakhapatnam focusing in the areas of Neurotoxicology, Physiology and Ethnopharmacology, and four trainees at St. John's Medical College (St. John's), Bangalore in the areas of Nutritional Physiology, Adolescent Psychiatrics, Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology. The ASU-MHIRT program has established guidelines for the selection and recruitment of students. These trainees will attend a research training orientation, including a review of the Responsible Conduct of Research, to refresh their knowledge of research techniques and prepare them for their work in India. The program activities also include training MHIRT trainees in: experimental research design, such as procedures for analyzing and interpreting data and the use of current scientific literature and analytical methods;addressing issues of cultural, linguistic and ethical appropriateness affecting professionals who are engaged in scientific and public health research at AU and St. John's;and communicating research data into presentations and publications. Additionally, MHIRT trainees will be mentored and encouraged to pursue advanced graduate and professional degree programs in science and health care. All activities will be listed in a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed by the executives of participating institutions. At the time of this report, 71 trainees have participated in this program. Out of these, 19 trainees are currently enrolled at ASU, 14 in graduate school, 12 earned M.S. degrees, 10 in doctoral track programs, 7 sought employment after completion of B.S. degree, 2 in pharmacy school, 2 graduated with a nursing degree, 1 enrolled in dental school, 1 enrolled in school of medicine, I earned M.D. degree, 1 completed a degree in dentistry, and 1 is in the US Army. Past ASU-MHIRT trainees are coauthors of 10 peer-reviewed journal articles, two manuscripts in press, and one accepted for publication. Additionally, they have made 55 presentations (with published abstracts) at national conferences. All activities will be evaluated each year to ensure the appropriateness and effectiveness of this program in reaching its goals.
This project provides research training to U.S. minority students in clinical and biomedical sciences at research sites in India. The relevance is that this training will motivate and prepare U.S. students to enter research careers and be a positive influence in the elimination of disparities in health care and research related to diseases affecting minority populations. U.S. students will witness and experience how a population in a diverse cultural environment works cohesively to achieve success in health related research.
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