Mississippi is among the leaders in mortality due to heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and kidney disease. Mississippi also has the greatest health care disparities in the country along with limited extramural research support necessary to recruit and retain top biomedical researchers that can address these important issues. These widening health care disparities affect underrepresented minorities, including African Americans and Hispanic Americans, who are disproportionately affected by heart disease, stroke, diabetes, nephritis/nephrosis, hypertension and hypertension related renal diseases. Therefore, a unique opportunity exists in Mississippi for building diverse research infrastructure to investigate mechanisms and new treatment options for cardiovascular and renal diseases at the very location where they are most prominent in the United States. This application proposes to continue a highly successful summer research program in the State of Mississippi that increased the participation of individuals from underrepresented minorities (URM) in hypertension, renal and cardiovascular related biomedical fields over the last five years. The Mississippi Diversity in Hypertension and Cardiorenal Research Program (MSDHCR) supported over forty URM students in the first funding cycle, with greater than 90% of graduates utilizing their science degree in graduate school, professional school, or in their employment. The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) has a long history of excellence in cardiovascular and renal research, and mentoring. The current proposal seeks an additional five years for the MSDHCR program, and represents a critical component of the mission to train and mentor cardiovascular and renal researchers. This competitive renewal includes enhanced institutional support and innovative improvements that ensure the continued development of a robust biomedical pipeline. The overall objective of this training program is to provide career and education mentoring along with state-of the art cardiovascular and renal research training experiences to individuals with disadvantaged and underrepresented ethnic or racial backgrounds in the cardiovascular and renal sciences. Undergraduate students from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds will participate in this program that has the following aims: 1. To provide program participants a multi-disciplinary training and mentoring experience in cardiovascular and renal research. 2. To provide program participants with opportunities for professional development that will help them achieve careers in health-related research professions. 3. To provide standardized test training for program participants that will prepare them for the next steps in their educational training.
Mississippi is among the leaders in health disparities in cardiovascular diseases that disproportionately affect individuals from disadvantaged and underrepresented racial and ethnic populations. At the same time, Mississippi lags in the development of a robust pipeline of biomedical researchers that can address these important issues. This grant proposes to continue a successful summer research training and mentoring program in cardiovascular research for undergraduate students from disadvantaged and underrepresented racial and ethnic populations in Mississippi.