With the over-representation of racial and ethnic minority (REM) populations in HIV/AIDS, there is a need to recruit and mentor REM scientists involved in neuroAIDS investigations. The Mount Sinai Institute for NeuroAIDS Disparities (MSINAD) will stimulate entry and retention of REM and non-REM scientists working in the field of neuroAIDS disparities. This institute offers a multi-disciplinary curriculum spanning the fields of neurology, neuropsychology, psychiatry, neuropathology, and neuroscience. Selected scholars are given both didactic seminars and a research practicum; didactics cover both topics germaine to neuroAIDS disorders, and general tools for academic success, including grant development. Scholars are matched with both a scientific and a development mentor, and have access to a multi-disciplinary panel of senior scientists as well as junior faculty in AIDS disparities research as role models. By summer's end, scholars gain a strong grounding in topics necessary to conduct high quality, multi- disciplinary translational neuroAIDS research in REM communities. The MSINAD builds upon the infrastructures of two programs. The Manhattan HIV Brain Bank is a multi-disciplinary research resource that maintains an HIV-positive REM cohort that undergoes longitudinal neurologic, neuropsychologic, and psychiatric assessments. It routinely interacts with and supports a variety of neuroscientists investigating HIV manifestations and neuropathogenesis, has conducted pilot analyses of neuroAIDS disparities, and has successfully recruited and trained minority investigators who are entering the neuroAIDS research work force. The Mount Sinai Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs is a Center of Excellence for Minority Health, focused on reducing REM health outcome disparities by developing increased health care work force diversity, and providing support services at a variety of educational training and practice levels. Its Faculty Development Programs support minorities in a variety of research and clinical career pathways. By combining the unique strengths of these two programs, the MSINAD creates high quality, REM researchers whose long term careers will make a lasting contribution to the area of neuroAIDS disparities.
As HIV/AIDS disproportionately impacts minority communities, it is imperative to generate a research workforce capable of investigating HIV-related nervous system disorders in culturally and scientifically appropriate manners. MSINAD has been created to recruit, train, mentor, and support the talents of young scientists interested in neuroAIDS disparities research, with a focus on REM investigators. MSINAD programs seek to improve the quality of research into neuroAIDS disorders.
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