The North Carolina Central University (NCCU) proposes to establish a RCMI - Center for Health Disparities (RCHDR) to conduct cutting edge research for addressing health disparities. The Center is a collaborative effort within multiple NCCU units and will be housed at the Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute (BBRI). Focusing on basic and behavioral biomedical research, the Center will leverage resources and partnerships at the neighboring institutions in the Research Triangle area, community based organizations and the nationwide RCMI Translational Research Network (RTRN) to advance the following specific aims: (1) Enhance the research capacity of NCCU within the areas of basic biomedical and behavioral research by conducting three innovative and significant research projects; and developing a strong research infrastructure core and community engagement core where investigators will have access to the tools for basic/biomedical and behavioral sciences; (2) Prepare and enable all levels of investigators (including postdocs, research track, tenure-track and tenured faculty) to become successful extramurally funded health disparities researchers by developing an Investigator Development Core (IDC) and providing funding for pilot projects focused on health disparities research with robust mentoring by an experienced investigator from NCCU and/or partnering institutions; (3) Provide ancillary activities and promote a collaborative environment conducive to career enhancement by offering a multitude of career enhancement activities and collaborative events; and (4) establish sustainable relationships with neighboring research and community-based organizations and RTRN network to advance cutting edge health disparities research at NCCU. Leveraging the existing biomedical commitment of NCCU and establishing such an integrated RCMI Center at NCCU will greatly enhance the research capacity at this HBCU and drive it towards achieving its mission of addressing health disparities.
Racial and ethnic health disparities in the US are prevalent, severe and unacceptable. HBCUs produce the most black researchers and medical practitioners representing a community that is the most closely affected by the health and healthcare disparities. HBCUs are also disproportionately left out of the federal funding cycles. The overarching mission of the RCMI Center for Health Disparities (RCHDR) is to enhance research infrastructure to change this trajectory by conduct cutting edge health disparities and develop successful researchers at this this HBCU (NCCU).