The overarching goal of the Meharry RCTR (MeTRC) is to expand and strengthen the overall research infrastructure at Meharry Medical College (MMC) for conducting and promoting clinical and translational research (CTR) in health disparities, with a major emphasis to reduce or eliminate disease burden in minorities regarding inflammatory diseases, HIV/AIDS, diabetes/obesity, cancer and neurological diseases. We will achieve this by (1) providing effective and highly dynamic leadership to expand and promote the infrastructure to support innovative CTR discoveries which address the science of health disparities;(2) foster sustained, productive intra- and inter-institutional collaborations that san the translational research spectrum and will include basic, social and behavioral scientists, clinical researchers and community-based researchers;(3) expand and strengthen professional development to foster mentorship and promotion of investigators towards successful establishment of competitive and externally funded CTR projects;(4) develop and implement a plan for self-evaluation of short- and long-term RCTR goals including implementation and tracking of program activities;(5) expand CTR capacity by recruiting additional clinician-scientists and community-based-participatory research (CBPR) investigators;(6) enhance CTR enterprise by further developing our research infrastructure, including developing data warehouses, management and integration of hardware and software systems;(7) enhance research design, biostatistical analysis and clinical research ethics and related research training opportunities;(8) enhance the infrastructure to improve minority participation in CTR by providing an environment that fosters patient interactions involving intra- and inter-institutional collaborations;(9) expand and promote the community engagement in innovative CTR that increases the capacity of investigators to efficiently conduct qualitative CBPR, as well as expand the use of communication strategies that are sensitive to literacy, cultural differences and psychosocial factors;(10) enhance research support services to assist investigators in navigating the complex regulatory environment surrounding the conduct of CTR, while fostering and maintaining a "culture of compliance";(11) enhance technical and support infrastructure to accelerate research discovery in clinical and translational sciences such as proteomics, genomics, cell and tissue imaging, advanced data analysis and other data intensive research areas;(12) build upon our previous T1 research success support of highly competitive interdisciplinary collaborative pilot project research clusters/program that promote health disparity research along the T2-T4 translational research trajectory.
The Meharry Clinical Translational Research Center (MeTRC) will provide an environment for conducting and promoting clinical and translational research in health disparities that seek to reduce or eliminate disease burden in minorities. Research will focus primarily on inflammatory/infectious diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and neurological disorders that affect the populations we serve.
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