This proposal aims to continue support for the Native American Research Internship (NARI)-NHLBI program at the University of Utah. Recognizing the need to promote diversity in the biomedical workforce, the program was developed using the principles of community engagement and Native elders, faculty, and students guidance with the goal of increasing American Indians/Alaskan Natives (AI/AN) representation in the biomedical sciences and thus reducing and ultimately eliminating health disparities. Our target audience comprises undergraduate AI/AN, a population that historically have the lowest representation in the biomedical sciences in the U.S. NARI-NHLBI participants receive research, cultural, and professional mentorship and training with committed community members and renowned scientists conducting cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, cancer, and sleep disorders research, diseases that plague AI/AN populations. The NARI-NHLBI program has been in existence for 4 years and to date, 23 participants, representing 16 tribal nations, 16 colleges/universities, and 10 home states, have participated. Of the 23 participants, 7 (30%) are current undergraduates working towards a science degree and 16 (70%) have completed a bachelor's degree in science. Four participants (17%) have worked in the biomedical sciences as research assistants following the NARI program. Upon obtaining their undergraduate degree, 7 (30%) of the 23 NARI-NHLBI participants are continuing their education in the health/science fields: 4 were accepted into a graduate program; 2 were accepted into medical school; and 1 has obtained his MS in Cell and Molecular Biology and is now a 2nd year medical student. To continue to build on this success, the renewed NARI-NHLBI program proposes the following Aims:
Specific Aim 1 : Expand and enhance the existing, successful NARI-NHLBI program by broadening opportunities in cardiovascular, pulmonary, and hematological research with NHLBI funded mentors.
Specific Aim 2 : Enrich the successful holistic academic, cultural, and professional development activities with addition of peer mentorship, reflective writing, and individual development plans.
Specific Aim 3 : Partner with the University of Utah to support additional mentoring of NARI-NHLBI participant(s) interested in pursuing a MD/PhD degree.

Public Health Relevance

/RELEVANCE TO PUBLIC HEALTH This proposal seeks to continue the successful holistic Native American Research Internship (NARI)-NHLBI program to address the significant gap in American Indian/Native American (AI/AN) participation in biomedical research. The program will expand to offer nine AI/AN participants broader opportunities to participate in basic, clinical, and translational cardiovascular, pulmonary, and hematologic disease research as well as professional development activities including Peer and Near Peer mentorship, reflective writing, and individual development plans. The NARI-NHLBI program will continue providing participants with excellent research mentorship, professional development, and cultural support in order to meet our overarching goal of increasing the diversity of the U.S. biomedical science workforce.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHL1)
Program Officer
Fine, Larry
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University of Utah
Schools of Medicine
Salt Lake City
United States
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