Since the implementation or the RCMI Program at Ponce School of Medicine, in 1985, significant progress has been achieved in enhancing the research infrastructure to support studies in three major core areas: Environmental toxicology, immuno- chemistry and AIDS Research. Indeed, the RCMI Program has been virtually the main driving force responsible for the transformation of our institution from a practically teaching oriented School to a vigorous Research Center. In order to evaluate current research activities, forward, to the next level of competitiveness, we must develop and strengthen an infrastructure that supports research in modern Molecular Biology. Thus, our research facility has already reached a stage in their research initiatives that require the use of facilities and equipment to carry out work in modern Protein Chemistry and Nucleic Acids technology. In the present application we request support for the establishment of a Molecular Biology Program at Ponce School of Medicine. It is intended that, as part of one of the major activities of the Molecular Biology Program, a centralized multiuser facility, containing basic and state-of-the-art equipment for nucleic acids and protein research will be created. The long term goals of the proposed Molecular Biology Program at Ponce School of Medicine is to provide the necessary facilities, and to foster a research environment of excellence that stimulates our facility to make significant scientific contributions to the biomedical sciences. The long term goals will be approached through the following specific aims: (1) to develop and strengthen the necessary infrastructure at Ponce School of Medicine, through the acquisition of key basis and state-of-the-art equipment by improving the existing physical facilities, in order to enable investigators to conduct research in modern molecular biology, (2) to provide training and advise, through workshops, laboratory demonstrations and special seminars to investigators that need to incorporate molecular biology techniques to their ow research initiatives, (3) to assist the institution in the recruitment of competent research facility in areas such as virology, immunogenetics, diagnosis of genetically inherited diseases, bacterial and human genetics, (4) to establish the necessary facilities to conduct research in the molecular diagnosis of major genetic diseases that effect the minority community and (5) to provide service to local researchers in the elaboration of oligonucleotide and peptide synthesis, DNA sequencing, N-terminal Amino acid sequence analysis, and purification of macromolecules.

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