The Elizabeth City State University Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (E-MHIRT) Program provides opportunities for undergraduate students from US health disparities populations to conduct research in (i) drug discovery to combat such health disparity diseases as prostate cancer and diabetes and (ii) psycho-socio-behavioral research to identify risk factors for type II diabetes, a disease that disproportionately affects minorities in the USA. Selected honor students are members of US health disparities populations, majoring in biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, sociology and social work. They will spend 10 weeks receiving research training under the tutelage of prominent US and African (foreign) mentors at University of Botswana in Botswana and University of Zululand in South Africa. The E- MHIRT Program is an effort to contribute to the goal of the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities of building a diverse, culturally-competent research workforce to promote minority health and eliminate health disparities experienced by racial and ethnic minority, poor, and medically underserved populations in rural and urban communities. E-MHIRT Program components are (1) Pre-Travel Health- Disparities Workshops and Seminar Series to inform trainees about the problems of heath disparities in US and global contexts and related bioethics;(2) Research Training at Foreign Sites in (a) drug discovery with a goal of introducing treatment modalities, derived from Africa's rich traditional medical practice, (b) search for psychosocial risk factors for type 2 diabetes for comparison with data from the USA and Caribbean's in an effort to identify causes of excess diabetes morbidity among health disparities populations;(3) E-MHIRT Symposium at one of the foreign sites where trainees orally present their research findings;(4) Post-travel Activities that include (a) continuation of some of the research in the USA, and (b) Presentations at scientific meetings in the USA. It is hoped that these trainees will be part of a cadre of biomedical/behavioral/ social science researchers that understands health disparities populations and will resolve to contribute to the 7eduction and ultimate elimination of health disparities among US racial and ethnic minority groups.
Undergraduate students from US health disparities population are trained in research that is looking for (1) potential treatment modalities for US health disparities diseases such as type 2 diabetes and prostate cancer from Africa and (2) psychosocial risk factors for type 2 diabetes among Africans for comparison with African- Americans. It is hoped that these trainees will pursue careers that promote elimination of health disparities.
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