There is an urgent need for reducing or eliminating many health disparities that affect underserved minority populations. Despite important advances in knowledge about the basic mechanisms of disease, translation of this knowledge to treatment and prevention of disease has been limited and slow, in particular for these underserved ethnic and racial minorities. The Puerto Rico Clinical and Translational Research Consortium (PRCTRC) will be established as the concept that will advance this translation of knowledge and have an impact on these disparities. It will be a centralized clinical and translational research program focused on health problems prevalent in an underserved minority population and establishing a multidisciplinary and collaborative effort between three major academic health care institutions in Puerto Rico. The major programmatic goals are to: 1) To enhance and integrate existing infrastructure for clinical and translational research to support and expand Clinical and Translational Research in the Health Disparities;2) To enhance and support existing training and mentoring programs to increase the number of new minority investigators in Clinical and Translational Research;3)To facilitate the translation of knowledge from the bench into the community. To accomplish these goals we will integrate, expand and enhance: 1) Participant and Clinical Interaction Resources 2) Clinical and Translational Research core resources in Biostatistics and Data Management 3) Core laboratories and technologies 4) Training and developmental programs 5) Support for regulatory compliance resources 6) Informatic resources 7) Community interactions and participation programs. The proposed program will be integrative, incorporating resources and leadership from all three institutions, many of these under the RCMI-Clinical Research Center (RCMI-CRC) and the Comprehensive Center for Health Disparities (CCHD) but fusing under a single administrative structure. The proposed program will be inclusive, incorporating leadership from all the participating institutions at several levels of administrative responsibility. It will be novel, because it will provide a unique opportunity to incorporate resources and have an impact across a state-size territory composed primarily of a minority population.
The proposed program will help advance knowledge about conditions that disproportionately affect minority populations and will provide a platform for more efficient collaborations among institutions that serve these populations. By enhancing and consolidating existing resources it will facilitate the discovery of new knowledge in patient-oriented research and will aid in the development of new, clinical and translational minority researchers.
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