The racial and ethnic minority population in Texas surpassed the Anglo population in 2004, and is projected to increase substantially in the coming years. Projections for educational attainment for minorities, historically low because of socioeconomic and other factors, suggest continued disparity for college, graduate and professional school enrollment. Admission of minority students into doctoral study in the biomedical sciences in Texas, and indeed in the nation, remains low despite population changes in Texas, the second most populous in the country. Thus, there is a critical need to train a large number of health professionals to serve minority populations, not only in Texas but also at the national level. To address this critical need, we propose the Promoting Diversity in Research Training for Health Professionals (PDRT) program. University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) is a leader among the health science centers in Texas in training minority biomedical scientists. We have developed an integrated plan to increase the number of minorities in biomedical research, incorporating education at the K-12, undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral levels. The overall goal of PRDT is to provide underrepresented minority individuals, who are enrolled in a health professional program, a challenging and focused research experience in health disparities related to cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic and sleep disorders..
The specific aims of the PRDT are:
Aim 1. Generate a pool of applicants from the health professional programs at UNTHSC (Osteopathy, Pharmacy, Public Health and Physician Assistants) as well as regional health professional programs (UT-Southwestern Medical Center, Texas A&M College of Medicine, Texas Women's University), and recruit 15 participants each year for the PDRT program.
Aim 2. Provide a 10-week research program that combines research in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic and sleep disorders, with a special emphasis on health disparities.
Aim 3. Provide workshops in responsible conduct of research, experimental design, interprofessional education and health disparities.
These aims will be accomplished by the following activities: (1) Recruitment, (2) Research Training and Education, (3) Training Scholar to improve their skills to succeed, (4) Evaluation and (5) Tracking. Our expectation is that continued focus on the aims in meeting our objective will directly impact eventual achievement of our goal of obtaining a diverse population comprised of underrepresented populations in health disparity research related to cardiovascular diseases.

Public Health Relevance

There are three overarching goals of this project: 1) Identify PDRT Scholars with high potential for success. 2) Prepare the PDRT scholars for a career in research by providing a meaningful research and didactic exposure and 3) Support their success in their health professional programs and increase the number of underrepresented minority students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds and disabilities who will pursue health professional and biomedical research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHL1)
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Meadows, Tawanna
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University of North Texas
Overall Medical
Fort Worth
United States
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Shah, Sunil; Chandra, Anjali; Kaur, Amanjot et al. (2017) Fluorescence properties of doxorubicin in PBS buffer and PVA films. J Photochem Photobiol B 170:65-69