Our objective is to develop a major research center for biomedical research by establishing a research administrative structure and identifying foci (Clusters) around which thematic research interests of the faculty can be developed. In addition to the administrative unit, the following thematic research foci have been identified for development using the funds from the RCMI program. These are (Clusters) Pharmacology, Metabolism, Chemistry, Medical Sociology and Clinical Research. Each Cluster has identified the aspects of the research capability to be developed and has succinctly spelled out their objectives and goals. For example, the goal of the Pharmacology Cluster is to assemble a critical mass of investigators and equipment which will eventually enable the establishment of a Hypertension Center while the Metabolism Cluster will eventually evolve into a Diabetes Center at the institution. Similarly, the Chemistry Cluster has proposed a plan: 1) to establish a critical mass of research investigators representing various facets of pharmaceutical/medicinal chemistry research; ii) to establish our capabilities to design, synthesize, and characterize new compounds of pharmacological interest; iii) to significantly expand on our capability to analyze chemical/biochemical entities in biological material; and iv) to expand on our capabilities to investigate biochemical mechanisms of drug action. The Medical Sociology Cluster has set as its goal the development of a research data base in the geriatric population especially that of the minorities. In similar footing, the Clinical Research group wishes to develop their research around the urban homeless in New Orleans. The centerpiece of our grant proposal is a request for funds to: (1) increase research faculty and support staff; (2) purchase the state-of-the-art pieces of equipment; (3) support ancilliary research activities like seminars, administration, travel etc. The net effect of all these is the total enhancement of research capability of a traditionally minority institution whose proven commitment to monority education has few equals in the U.S.A.
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