The Training Core's strategy and proposed curricula are designed to provide the necessary knowledge and resources to recruit and support the next generation of health disparities researchers, with special attention to actively seeking and supporting the participation of underrepresented minority (URM) invesfigators. Our comprehensive training plan will prepare a cadre of health disparities investigators capable of performing research of the highest scientific caliber, coupled with an understanding of their obligation to consider crucial ethical issues. By building our health disparities curriculum within the extremely successful Master's Program in Clinical Research of the UCSF Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), we will ensure that trainees have excellent technical training in clinical research. The particular expertise of health disparities researchers at UCSF, including CHARM faculty, will provide trainees with an understanding of core conceptual and thematic issues in the field, and familiarity with required methodological tools. Health disparities research involves diverse and often vulnerable populations, requiring disparities researchers to be particularly sensitive to population needs and perceptions. The prominent roles of URM faculty in our training program will contribute to our ability to address these important ethical issues in minority health and health disparities research. The next generation of researchers in health disparities in the U.S. and globally, are hewing to a changing paradigm;one that acknowledges the crucial role of medical care, while positing that medical care in isolation cannot effectively address powerful determinants of health and health behaviors reflected by where and how people live. A general awareness and basic understanding of how social and physical environments at multiple levels can influence health is arguably germane to health research overall;its relevance to understanding and addressing disparities across racial or ethnic and socioeconomic groups is particularly striking. A growing evidence base has documented associations between health and social factors, e.g., education, economic resources, neighborhood characteristics, discrimination, and residential segregation in health. A growing body of science exploring plausible pathways and biological mechanisms is providing a previously unavailable scientific foundation for understanding how social factors can interact with biologic factors, including growing research on stress and health, and studies of how social factors can interact with genetic factors to produce epigenetic changes that are in some cases heritable. Our innovative curriculum will provide health disparities researchers with a basic toolkit of concepts, awareness, and methods enabling them to place their research - whether at the molecular, cellular, organ system, individual/household, community, or larger societal level, and regardless of their discipline???within a broader social context if effective solutions are to be formulated. Mentoring URM individuals who are interested in health disparities research serves multiple goals. We need adequate numbers of well-trained health disparities researchers who themselves are from health disparity populations and therefore can bring crucial perspectives to their research, based on their own experience and awareness. Mentoring these individuals will strengthen the quality of their work, by directing them to didactic, research, and funding opportunities. It will increase the hiring and promote the retention of these researchers in academic institutions, enriching the institutions'diversity. Lastly, increasing the numbers of URM researchers in all fields, including health disparities research, is an important social justice issue.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Comprehensive Center (P60)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1-RN)
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University of California San Francisco
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