A consortium of the University of Maryland at Baltimore (UMAB), Howard University (HU) and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) was forged in order to develop an organization that would lead to the creation of a Research Center for Minority Oral Health (RCMOH). Together these institutions will generate optimal resources to improve the oral health of U.S. racial and ethnic minorities; enhance the research capabilities and participation of members of racial minorities; and develop and strengthen the minority oral health research at a minority dental school (HU) and at a dental school serving a large minority population (UMAB). To develop a structure for a Research Center for Minority Oral Health (RCMOH) the following specific aims are set forth: 1) Initiate an administrative consortium that includes a Minority Dental School, a Dental School Serving a large minority population, and a research intensive Dental government, industry, academics, and the health sciences to identify minority oral health research needs and support necessary for high quality research; 3) organize Core units and facilities to sustain research and the development of faculty and scientists dedicated to minority health sciences research; 4) Identify and fund small projects and pilot ventures that address minority oral health care research needs that would provide the scientific basis for a RCMOH. To begin to achieve the above specific aims three small research projects and three pilot ventures are proposed. These activities will be supported by three core units; a) Administration/Clinic, b) Biostatistics, and c) Development. Common to each of the research efforts is that the population to be studied is limited to or includes individuals of African-American descent (Blacks). The three major areas of focus include: a) oral cancer, b) periodontal diseases, and c) assessment of oral health needs of minority children and young adults. It is anticipated that during this development period a more distinct Center theme will evolve from these initial projects and pilots.
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